Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The family of the late Sgt. Michael Todd May, representatives of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Fairmont State University community gathered on Tuesday, March 5, for a ceremony to dedicate donations made in May’s memory.

“Todd’s entire life has been dedicated to helping others, through his work as a Deputy Sheriff and even in his death as an organ donor. Todd embodied the true meaning of being a civil servant,” said Sgt. J.E. Burks of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department.

Over the past year, the Sgt. Todd May Memorial Fund Committee has raised funds in May’s memory. The committee worked with the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., to establish an endowed scholarship fund. The Sgt. Todd May Memorial Scholarship is designed to benefit law enforcement officers in Monongalia County, their families or others pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at Fairmont State University.

“Without the support and generous giving from our community, this scholarship would not be possible. Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support the Sgt. Michael Todd May Memorial Fund. Todd was always looking out for and taking care of everyone, and now with the scholarship we are able to keep his memory going by helping others pursue their dream in Criminal Justice,” said Tammy White, Detective Division Assistant for the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department.

During the March 5 event, FSU senior Tyler Hawkins of Buckhannon was announced as the first recipient of the May scholarship. The son of David and Kim Hawkins, he is a 2009 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School. A double major in Criminal Justice and National Security and Intelligence with a minor in Political Science at FSU, Hawkins has maintained a perfect GPA while also working part-time. He plans to pursue a career in law enforcement following graduation.

Additionally, the committee contributed other dollars in support of the Open Source Intelligence Exchange (OSIX) at FSU. Fairmont State previously had received a matching grant from the West Virginia Research Trust Fund; therefore, this donation was matched dollar-for-dollar as part of the “Bucks for Brains” program, doubling the impact of the gift. 

OSIX is the laboratory and applied research arm of the University’s National Security and Intelligence Program. Students working in the OSIX lab gather and analyze intelligence from open sources, including online discussion boards, social media and chatrooms, to identify and assess national security and law enforcement threats.

“As the Fairmont State family, we are so proud of our students and former students in the Criminal Justice program who dedicate themselves to serving and protecting others, knowing that they may one day be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Dr. Maria Rose, President of Fairmont State University. “Sergeant May’s legacy will continue at Fairmont State by helping other students pursue their educational and career goals.”

A graduate of Morgantown High School, May attended Fairmont State University, where he pursued a degree in Criminal Justice. At Fairmont State, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He later graduated from the West Virginia State Police Academy in Institute, W.Va.

After working briefly at the Eastern Regional Corrections facility and the Berkeley County Sherriff's Department, May began his career with the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department in Morgantown. In his role with the department, May was assigned as a leader on its Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, was a shift supervisor and earned the rank of Sergeant. May died Feb. 18, 2012, in the line of duty while responding to a call to assist fellow officers in a police pursuit.

Contributions to the Sgt. Michael Todd May Memorial Fund can be made at any Clear Mountain Bank. Donations may be mailed to the Sgt. Michael Todd May Memorial Fund, Attn: Tammy White, 116 Walnut St., Morgantown, WV 26505.