A 1999 graduate of Allen D. Nease High School, Josh was a student at UNF for three years when he decided to leave school and enlist in the Marines. He chose the Marines because of their elite status and, specifically, chose infantry as his specialty knowing he would probably go to Iraq. Tragically on October 21, 2006, ten days before he was due to return home to Camp Lejune, North Carolina, he was killed in action in the Anbar Province of Iraq.
He loved the Marine Corps, his family and his country. An only child, Josh truly believed he was fighting so that his mother and others could be safe. He felt that fighting terrorism in Iraq would prevent having to fight it here.
In December 2006, Josh's mother and uncle, Amy Vazquez and David Tillis, established the Marine Corporal Joshua C. Watkins Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of North Florida to honor Joshua's sacrifice and aid returning veterans in continuing their education, as Josh had planned to do.
Today, through the generosity of others, notably the PGA Tour, and Ponte Vedra residents Robert and Monica Jacoby, the endowment has grown. An endowed scholarship exists in perpetuity, making this an excellent opportunity to honor a local hero and show support for our local military personnel to whom we owe our continued freedom.
Scholarships are available for active duty, reserve or honorably discharged military personnel enrolled full time at UNF, with preference given to Marines.
Award: $2,500 ($1,250 fall and $1,250 spring)
Deadline: Applications closed for Fall 2019.
- Meet admissions requirements and be accepted to the University of North Florida,
- Reside in Florida for tuition purposes,
- Be active in the United States military, honorably discharged, a reservist, or a participant in the ROTC program, and
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Preference will be given in the following order:
- Marines, active duty, reservist or honorably discharged,
- Students with any military service who are active duty, reservist or honorably discharged, or
- ROTC students.
Students must also agree to:
- Enroll full-time (12 credit hours) each semester and earn a minimum of 24 credits by the end of each academic year,
- Maintain a GPA of at least 2.5,
- Participate in donor events as scheduled,
- Comply with all University regulations, rules, and codes of conduct governing students on campus,
- Consent to release grades to the Division of Development and Alumni Engagement for the purpose of reporting to the donors, and
- Remain in good standing as a student.
FAFSA: To ensure timely processing of this scholarship, it is highly recommended that students complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and turn it into this University as soon as possible.