Tucker Cowdin’s senior year at Wagner College certainly didn’t end as expected, but he didn't let the pandemic distract him. He buckled down and kept his focus on his studies, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, cum laude - a proud member of the Class of 2020.
Tucker is no stranger to hard work. He came to Wagner from beautiful St. George, Utah where he grew up on a farm, part of a large and close family of twelve children. Tucker shared, “Growing up on a farm taught me the value of hard work and discipline. I also developed a love for animals which led me to work at a veterinary practice during my time at Wagner. Luckily I was still able to work full-time, despite the pandemic, while completing my degree.”
Coming across the country to New York City was a life changing experience for Tucker. “My first time in New York City was actually when I moved into my residence hall. It was an amazing experience living on campus and later in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I met lifelong friends and made lasting memories,” said Tucker. “I loved the connections I had with my professors and the small classroom sizes, it allowed me to interact with them in a way that made learning easier.”
Tucker is proud to be the first member of his family to attend college. His parents, while very supportive of his college dream, were not able to help him pay for his education. Tucker was selected as the recipient of the “The Andrew F. ‘72 and Natalie M. ‘92 Cortese Scholarship.” Said Tucker, “I’m incredibly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Cortese for investing in my future. Their scholarship allowed me to pursue my dream of attending college. I know the education that I received at Wagner has prepared me well for my future and will allow me to be a success. I am forever grateful to the Corteses for their generosity.”
While at Wagner, Tucker became involved with the Navy Warrior Challenge Program, which recruits and trains candidates for Special Warfare rates in the Navy. Through the program, Tucker earned a Special Operator contract which will give him the opportunity to attend Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California after he completes boot camp. Tucker recently moved back to Utah to spend some time with his family before he heads off to the Navy.
The entire Wagner community is proud of Tucker, especially the Corteses. “We decided to establish our scholarship in order to provide educational opportunities to Wagner students who have shown a commitment to the classroom, to the community and to their future success. We also know that many students have the desire to attend college but may not have all of the resources to do so," said Andy and Natalie Cortese. "We are very proud of Tucker and to have had a part in enabling him to achieve his goal of graduating with an undergraduate degree. He embodies a Wagner Seahawk and we wish him well in the Navy. We know he has a bright future ahead of him.”