LACEY, Wash. — Retired Staff Sergeant Alexus Perez-Mercado, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, has been chosen by Saint Martin’s University as the eighth recipient of its America's Service Heroes Scholarship. The award was announced earlier this month at the University’s annual President’s Gala, a major fundraising event for University student scholarships.
The America’s Service Heroes Scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to those service members and their families who have sacrificed for our nation’s well-being and security, says Radana Dvorak, Ph.D., dean of the University’s Extended Learning Division.
“The ability to provide financial relief to the defenders of our nation pursuing their higher education goals through voluntary military education was the motivating force of the scholarship’s founders and supporters,” she said. “We salute all of America’s Service Heroes.”
Perez-Mercado is originally from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Over the course of her career, she was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. Last May, she received her second Army Meritorious Service Medal, and in June, a Legion of Merit from the Washington Army National Guard Adjutant General upon her retirement. The last paragraph of her Legion of Merit decoration captures her career as a soldier: “SSG Perez-Mercado’s expertise and dedication resulted in major contributions in all the units she was assigned to. Along with her own education and volunteer hours, she promoted others to do the same. SSG Perez-Mercado stands as an example of the effects of dedication and hard work towards one's goals, and she’s a showcase for how not only to give one's self to a greater cause, but to do so professionally and humanely.”
Perez-Mercado is married and is a life-long believer in education. After earning her associate’s degree, she began working toward completion of her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology at Saint Martin’s, where she maintains a cumulative 3.31 grade point average.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
For additional information:
Director of Extended Learning
Interim Media Relations Manager