Lt. Aaron Crook

The Concord University Foundation has established a scholarship in honor of Lt. Crook’s memory and dedication to both his family and the community he served.

ATHENS — A new scholarship for Concord University students that honors the life and service of a fallen police officer has been created, university officials said Tuesday.

The Lt. Aaron L. Crook Memorial Scholarship has been established by the Concord University Foundation in memory of Lt. Crook, a Bluefield police officer who died in the line of duty in May 2017. The scholarship honors his memory and dedication to his family and the community he served.

Lt. Crook was born in Summers County. Following graduation from Pipestem Christian Academy, he received a degree in Criminal Justice from Bluefield State College. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for six years and joined the Bluefield Police Department in February 2008. Lt. Crook was a husband and father of two.

To be eligible for the Lt. Aaron L. Crook Memorial Scholarship, a Concord student must be a child of a first responder (EMT, paramedic, firefighter or police officer) and must be a resident of Mercer or Summers counties, university officials said. Students interested in applying for the scholarship need to fill out the online application at www.concord.edu/aaroncrook The first $250 scholarship will be awarded for the Spring 2021 semester. The last day to apply to be considered for the Spring 2021 scholarship is Jan. 2, 2021.

“We are grateful to be able to offer this scholarship opportunity to Concord students in Lieutenant Crook’s memory. Through the generosity of his family and friends, the scholarship recipient will get financial help he or she needs while honoring Crook’s legacy,” said Alicia Besenyei, vice president for advancement.

Friends and family of Lt. Crook and the local community held fundraisers to fund the scholarship. A conversation between friends Erica Morgan and KD Coleman on an early morning run inspired their efforts to honor Lt. Crook’s life and remember his family.

“KD and I were running partners when she lived here, and usually we would meet up in the mornings for a run, and just talk about life,” Morgan said.

“Shortly after the accident, it hit both of us really hard. I think being moms and wives, it hit a deep nerve. I mentioned one morning that I wished there was something we could do for them. KD knew the family, and together we collaborated with Aaron’s Mile,” she said.

The first Aaron’s Mile – Memorial Walk and & Police Challenge was held at the Bluefield City Park in October 2017. In September 2018 the event moved to the Princeton City Park.

“We all participated in a one-mile memorial walk. Then, there was the option for the Police Challenge. The Police Challenge is a 75-yard pursuit chase, sit up and push up test, and many other obstacles along the course, followed by a 1.5-mile run,” Coleman said.

“The first year we had a wonderful turnout and had a great time celebrating his life,” she said. “After speaking with many first responders in our area, we learned that they needed help with funding their children’s college tuition. With that knowledge, the second year the Board made the decision to use the funds to set up a scholarship for the children of first responders in his name.”

“Having been part of this event was truly an amazing experience for us both” she said.

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