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From patrolling the dangerous streets of Iraq to strolling the tranquil campus at Wofford Student soldier completing college degree with the help of ROTC, Army L students ess than six months ago, Jeremy Boeh ’15 was patrolling the streets in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army infantry. Today, he’s strolling the Wofford campus. By any measure, Boeh is not a typical Wofford student. He’s 27 years old; he’s married, and he has a 2-yearold daughter. He also has spent the past six years on active duty with the Army – two years of that on two tours of duty on the front lines in Iraq. Boeh’s attendance at Wofford, where he plans to complete his final two years toward a degree in history, is thanks to the Green to Gold program, a two-year plan that provides eligible active-duty enlisted soldiers the opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree or obtain a two-year master’s and be commissioned as an officer upon receipt of the degree. The U.S. Army Cadet Command says that in this year’s graduating Boeh in Iraq (top) and with his class, only 46 of the 305 total Green wife, Kristen, and daughter, to Gold participants are attending Kylie, back home. private institutions. “When I came here, I found it was the most receptive community I’ve ever been around,” he says. “It seemed to me that the transition here would be easier than on a large campus. My biggest thing was for this to be great for my whole family. “I had never been on a college campus where somebody – even the maintenance staff – stops to speak to you like they have here,” he continues. “This is a great place to be.” Boeh brings a different perspective to the classroom because of his experiences as a soldier. “He is unusual because he has come back from war. We don't have too many students like him,” says Dr. Boyce Lawton, vice president for academic administration and planning. Green to Gold is a way to help this student, “who has done so much for our country.” “It can be tough bringing a young man out of a combat zone,” says Lt. Col. Buck Bollinger, professor of military science. “When I talked to (Boeh), he had all the right answers. The financial aid office did a great job helping him. When they needed paperwork, they would go out and get it instead of trying to email him while he was in combat.” The Green to Gold non-scholarship program is a two-year program, and a soldier must be able to complete his degree within 24 months. Boeh plans to go into law enforcement on the local or federal level, and will seek his master’s degree in the next five years. The Green to Gold program has two other options – Active Duty Option (in which participants remain on active duty while completing their degrees) and scholarship option (in which participants compete for scholarships to complete their degrees). Nationally, this year’s class includes 175 Active Duty Option cadets, 119 in the scholarship program, and 11 in the non-scholarship group. by Laura H. Corbin 8 • Wofford Today • Winter 2011 McMillin starts green business from campus J unk matters to one Wofford student. For Joseph McMillin ’13, a school project has turned into a promising green business. The Spartanburg native and psychology major recently launched Junk Matters LLC, a recycling service catering to local schools and businesses. His mission: to help organizations take junk destined for landfills and recycle it instead. What makes his service different? McMillin hauls away recyclables for free. “A lot of companies don’t want to or can’t afford to pay to have their recycling picked up,” says McMillin. “There’s a huge gap in the collection area between the client and the recycling plants. I want to give these businesses an opportunity to recycle anything they want to dispose of in an environmentally friendly manner.” The idea for a free recycling service came to McMillin after spending time with James Meadors Sr. ’81, father of McMillin’s friend James Meadors Jr. ’12, and the owner of a thriving Charleston construction company specializing in green building practices. “Here’s this successful guy, and I noticed him picking up scrap metal on the side of the road, and I asked him why he did it. He told me he could recycle it and make money,” says McMillin. The blend of earth-friendly and enterprise appealed to McMillin, who needed to develop a project for his involvement in the Success Initiative, a program within Wofford’s Center for Professional Excellence that teaches students innovation and creative thinking. His project advisor, Scott Cochran ’88, dean of the center, encouraged him to reach out to alumni and business leaders for advice on how to get his fledgling company off the ground. “I’m not a business major; I went into this totally blind,” McMillin says. “I learned how to do it by talking with Scott Cochran and the contacts I made at recycling companies. They told me the business was growing and that if I worked hard, I’d be successful. Fifty percent of my business comes from Wofford contacts.” “I’m incredibly impressed with what Joseph has been able to accomplish in such a short time,” says Cochran. “His company represents exactly what we’re teaching our SI (Success Initiative) students – to find something they’re passionate about and use that passion to solve problems and create opportunities.” Beginning in March with one client (a Spartanburg County school where his mother teaches), a pick-up truck and a trailer, McMillin now has 40 clients, two trucks and trailers, and one em- (Top) McMillin picks up recycling from one of his 40 clients in Spartanburg. (Below) McMillin (right) with his friend and Junk Matters employee James Meadors Jr. ’13. ployee: his pal James Meadors Jr. The two work an average of 25 to 30 hours each week. The proceeds from selling their collected materials to recycling plants have grown from barely enough to cover gas to enough to pay each student a small salary – with some left over for charity. McMillin donates a portion of his profits to a local high school scholarship fund named for a close friend who was killed in an automobile accident. “I particularly wanted to donate to a scholarship fund because education is the foundation of recycling practices and the development of green technologies,” says McMillin. “And I know Wofford alumni give back more than alumni at other schools.” Running a growing business as a full-time student has come at a personal cost to McMillin. A walk-on inside linebacker for the Wofford Terriers football team, he played in the 2010 season and had plans to return this year. Just before summer practice began, he made the difficult decision to give up his place on the team in order to focus on his business. “Yeah, that was tough,” he says, “but football, the business and college were three full-time jobs. Something had to give.” For now, McMillin continues to balance school and work. When he’s not attending class or studying, he’s busy sending emails, attending client meetings and hauling junk. To find additional operating capital, he’s participating in Venture, another Center for Professional Excellence program that matches students with business and community leaders who provide guidance about business development and provide funding to the winner of an annual business plan competition. “Being a poor college kid makes it hard to buy equipment and expand only on what you’re earning,” he says, “but I’m going to stick with this. There’s nothing like the feeling I get when I see how much waste we’re keeping out of the landfills in just one day’s worth of work.” by Lisa Mincey Ware

Winter 2011 Wofford Today

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