Keeping Jesse’s Dream Alive

Scholarship recipients Aaron Webster, Tyler Parsotan and Timothy Robinette (first and third from left and second from right, respectively) met with Tanya and Craig King (center) at a March 12 luncheon. They visited the new telescope in the College of Arts and Sciences with Terry Oswalt, chair of the Physical Sciences Department, (at far right) and Ted von Hippel, associate professor of physics and astronomy (in red shirt).

Timothy Robinette, Tyler Parsotan and Aaron Webster had never met Jesse C. King Jr. (‘03, DB) before, although they all shared a passion for space physics.

But a memorial scholarship in King’s name, created by his parents Tanya and Craig King, is helping the three undergraduate Embry-Riddle students reach their academic and career goals.

“Jesse always craved education, so we felt like the scholarship would honor him and help students,” Tanya King told the three recipients at a March 12 luncheon on campus. “And we’re just so proud of the three of you.”

The Kings said their son Jesse had spoken of his desire to set up a scholarship someday at Embry-Riddle to help other students.

“Since he had planned to do this, we wanted to follow his wishes,” said Tanya King. “Our son loved Embry-Riddle.”

The Jesse C. King, Jr. Space Physics Scholarship was established in the memory of Jesse King, who died in 2012 at the age of 34. It supports a junior or senior undergraduate student enrolled full-time in the undergraduate Space Physics program at the Daytona Beach campus.

Jesse always craved education, so we felt like the scholarship would just honor him and help students.”

Tanya King, who created the scholarship, with husband Craig King, in memory of their late son Jesse C. King Jr. (‘03, DB)

“He’d be very proud of what you two had done,” Terry Oswalt, chair of the Physical Sciences Department at the Daytona Beach Campus, told the Kings. “It’s probably more than he’d envisioned.”

Webster, who is from Alabama and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was the first recipient of the scholarship and plans to attend graduate school after graduating from Embry-Riddle in 2016. He is double majoring in computational mathematics and space physics.

“It helped me start off on the right foot,” he said.

Parsotan, who is the first person in his family to go to college, said the scholarship helped him financially, enabling him to accept an internship at NASA.

“Without your scholarship, that would have been impossible,” he said. “That experience has definitely changed my life.”

Timothy Robinette, who received the scholarship this year, will graduate in May with a degree in space physics and plans to attend graduate school for his doctorate in biomedical engineering. The funding helped him pay for living expenses, books and his travel to present at an astronomy conference.

“You put a lot of food on my table—and books,” he told the Kings.

Tanya and Craig King said Jesse had a lifelong passion for space and flight, and they were happy to help others who shared his love.

“It keeps Jesse’s memory alive,” said Tanya King.

Questions? Contact:
Melanie Stawicki Azam
Development & Alumni Relations

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