Society of Yeager Scholars announces 36th class of scholars

Logo for Yeager Scholars

Ten students have been selected for the 36th class of Yeager Scholars at Marshall University.

These students, from four states, represent a diverse group of academically talented scholars and driven young leaders. As Yeager Scholars, they join a storied program that has supported 35 cohorts of Marshall University students since 1987. These students receive a full scholarship for tuition and fees, room and board, international study, a laptop and a personal stipend. Yeager Scholars enroll in rigorous seminars as members of the university’s Honors College and are expected to maintain a 3.5 cumulative gpa in their coursework. Additionally, they partake in programming designed to encourage leadership, personal, and professional enrichment during their time at Marshall.

Dr. Brian Hoey, interim dean of the Honors College, welcomes this class to Marshall University.

“This incoming cohort of Yeager Scholars illustrate our mission of inclusive excellence as a college,” Hoey said. “Their varied accomplishments in multiple domains—from academics to significant contributions to the welfare of communities of which they are a part—are impressive before they even begin the program as scholars in the Honors College this fall.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with this diverse group to achieve the fullest expression of their potential to be socially conscious, responsible leaders and lifelong learners who continually aspire to the acquisition and application of knowledge for a greater good.”

The students selected for the 36th class of Yeager Scholars are:

  • Asha Bora, Hurricane High School, Hurricane, West Virginia
  • Isaac Campbell, Paul G. Blazer High School, Ashland, Kentucky
  • Erik Cochrane, Man High School, Man, West Virginia
  • Kyleigh Hoey, Huntington High School, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Tyler Marcum, Cabell Midland High School, Ona, West Virginia
  • Ryann Province, Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg, West Virginia
  • Will Raines, St. Albans High School, St. Albans, West Virginia
  • Alexus Steele, Fairland High School, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Bella Thompson, South Iredell High School, Statesville, North Carolina
  • Connor Waller, St. Joseph Central High School, Ironton, Ohio

The average ACT score among these students is 31, with an average SAT of 1400, and a 4.4 grade point average. The students were selected in February after a rigorous process that included multiple interviews, an intensive seminar, and a weekend on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

The class is named for Don and Doris Ferguson, Huntington natives, Marshall alumni and ardent supporters of the Society of Yeager Scholars.

Don Ferguson graduated from Huntington High School, where he was vice president of the student body and commencement honorarium speaker. He is a two-time graduate of Marshall University, earning both an undergraduate degree and an M.B.A. from Marshall. While at Marshall, he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and is a founding member of the national fraternity. He served on the board of the Marshall Alumni Association and as its president. He was a member of the board of the Society of Yeager Scholars for nine years and served as its president 2014-2015.

Doris Ferguson graduated from Huntington East High School and received her undergraduate degree from Marshall, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa. She passed away in 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina, where Don Ferguson continues to reside.

The Don and Doris Ferguson Class of 2026:

  • Asha Bora currently serves as the Hurricane High School student body president, vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and National Art Honor Society, and parliamentarian of the National Honor Society, as well as team captain of the girls’ cross country and track teams. She is also a member of the Youth Leadership Association, Leo Club, National English Honor Society, and Science National Honor Society. In her free time, she says she enjoys reading, spending time with her dog, Zuzu, and volunteering at local events. At Marshall, she plans on majoring in biology with a minor in statistics and has signed to run for the Marshall University cross country and track teams.
  • Isaac Campbell serves as captain of the golf team, a student council representative, a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and Samsung Solve for Tomorrow team at Paul G. Blazer High School. In his free time, he says he enjoys volunteering with various organizations, playing golf, and spending time with friends and family. At Marshall, he is interested in studying biology and political science.
  • Erik Cochrane will graduate as valedictorian this spring from Man High School, where he serves as the president of his class and is a member of various extracurricular clubs, such as BETA Club, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and Student Council.  He is very active in his church, Claypool United Methodist Church, where he plays the piano, sings in the choir and other singing groups, and serves on administrative committees. In his spare time, he says he enjoys playing various musical instruments, studying and spending time with his friends. At Marshall, he is interested in studying biochemistry, psychology and accounting.
  • Kyleigh Hoey is graduating from Huntington High School, where she is ranked fifth in the senior class. She has been a part of many programs in and outside of her high school, such as the honors program, National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, 4-H Teen Leaders, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Honorary, Science Honorary and Art Honorary. She has also been invited to do research at Greenbank Observatory. She completed her senior capstone project, 300 Lives, this past April. She and her partner organized a Save a Life Day with a goal of distributing 300 doses of Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, in one weekend. Outside of school her interests include art, hiking, camping and cooking. In the fall, she will major in biology.
  • Tyler Marcum will graduate first in his class from Cabell Midland High School this spring. He plans to major in biomechanics with an emphasis in pre-med. He is one of nine students in West Virginia this year to be named as a semifinalist for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars program. He is also an avid scuba diver and has helped to restore coral reefs along the Florida Keys through his work with the Coral Reef Restoration Foundation.
  • Ryann Province serves as president of thespian troupe #264 and captain of the Parkersburg High School debate team, of which she is a varsity member. On her days off from theatre rehearsals and debate tournaments, she is likely writing her next album or story. She is interested in studying film and creative writing at Marshall.
  • Will Raines will graduate as valedictorian this spring from St. Albans High School, where he serves as student body president, president of the Keystone Chapter of the National Honor Society, and president of the Interact Club. He was also captain on the soccer, swim and lacrosse teams. In his spare time, he says he enjoys the outdoors, playing sports, video games and weightlifting. Will has spent two summers working full-time as an environmental technician for an environmental consulting firm. Due to work experience and learned interests, at Marshall he plans to study civil engineering, business and political science. Furthermore, he will proudly be a fourth-generation Marshall student.
  • Alexus Steele will graduate this spring from Fairland High School, where she serves as the president and founder of Junior State of America, president of the Math Club and prom committee, vice president of the environmental club, and a member of several other clubs such as the Beta Club and Spanish Club. Alexus also serves as captain of the cheer, track, and soccer teams, and is a member of the powerlifting and futsal teams. In her spare time, she models at Barbie’s Formals in Milton, West Virginia; tumbles at Tumble World; and volunteers within her community. At Marshall, Alexus is interested in studying political science, constitutional law, and forensics.
  • Bella Thompson graduated from South Iredell High School in Statesville, North Carolina, a semester early to play volleyball at Marshall. She was in National Honor Society, Beta Club, and the National English Honor Society. She was a captain of the Carolina Union Volleyball Club national level premier team for three years and served on the club’s leadership council, spearheading the community service initiative. In her spare time, she likes to read, paddle board, and spend time with her dog, Earl.  At Marshall, she plans to pursue a degree in cybersecurity and forensics.
  • Connor Waller will graduate this spring from St. Joseph Central High School in Ironton, Ohio, where he serves as the two-year student body president, president of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, vice president of the National Honor Society, student director of the mathematics tutoring department and captain of the varsity quiz bowl team, as well as a member of the golf team and mock trial team. He has participated in the Lawrence County, Ohio, Civic Scholars Fellowship Program for two years, which has allowed him to become a leader in the community. He worked diligently this year to have a week dedicated to a local World War II Prisoner of War who had passed away and to organize a county-wide project to collect letters and cards for first responders and military personnel. He also worked with the American Red Cross to organize two blood drives at his school, which resulted in the collection of nearly 70 units of blood. In his spare time, Connor enjoys reading books in the subjects of politics and history, walking his dog and volunteering with various organizations. At Marshall, he is interested in studying political science.

For more information visit www.marshall.edu/yeager or contact Interim Assistant Dean and Coordinator of the Society of Yeager Scholars Cara Bailey at bailey160@marshall.edu

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Photos of each member of the class may be viewed at https://muphotos.marshall.edu/Yeager-Scholars-Class-of-2026/.