Palm Beach Atlantic University will recognize three business students with scholarships at its American Free Enterprise Day ceremonies Nov. 6.
This year marks the 29th year of the event, which honors community business leaders who put into practice the principles of free enterprise in their lives and careers. It also has become a day to encourage future business leaders by conferring scholarships.
Jordan DeGraaf of Sarasota, Florida, will receive the Col. Marty Trauger Scholarship. A senior, DeGraaf is double majoring in business management and biblical studies. The scholarship honors Col. Trauger, the late professor emeritus of business administration in PBA’s Rinker School of Business.
Col. Trauger spent 30 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1970 as a colonel and deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia. He then launched a new career at Palm Beach Atlantic as an assistant professor of business administration, teaching economics and marketing, while serving as the director of financial aid. Col. Trauger designed PBA’s course in American Free Enterprise. He was named distinguished professor of business administration in 1988 and, in 1991, he became professor emeritus of business administration.
Megan Thornton of Tiverton, Rhode Island, will be awarded the James & Annie Erneston Scholarship. Thornton is a junior who is majoring in business management. The scholarship was established by Mr. and Mrs. Steve Scalici, ’95/’96, in recognition of the Ernestons’ good works, generosity and faithfulness.
The Ernestons themselves were honored during the 2010 American Free Enterprise event as companion medalists. James Erneston is a founder and the president of J & J Produce Inc., a year-round grower and distributor of fruit and vegetables along the East Coast. He and Annie, his wife of more than four decades, grew J & J Produce into the institution it is today.
Kevin Reifler of Zürich, Switzerland, will receive the Southern Self Storage Scholarship. Reifler is a senior majoring in international business. The scholarship was established by Southern Self Storage owners Robert A. McIntosh and Peter V. Cowie, who received PBA’s American Free Enterprise Companion Medal in 1999.