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Always faithful


Lots of people are familiar with the U.S. Marine Corps motto — “Semper Fi” — but few could actually define it. “Semper Fi,” or “always faithful,” is a testament to the willpower of Marines and their loyalty and steadfast dedication to achievement. When it comes to motivation and commitment, Michael Gloyd — who served for over 15 years as a Marine — is the very embodiment of the Semper Fi expression. Not only was Michael loyal to the country in his service to the country, but the education he received through the Virginia community college system.

“I think everyone should start at a community college. My end goal is — I know it’s a long way away — but I’d like to sit on a board of nursing.”

Michael was stationed in North Carolina for close to 15 years before he was transferred to Quantico, Virginia. Although he eventually retired from the Marines, his dedication to service did not. After being inspired by the work he saw during his time in the Marines, Michael sought to find a career in the medical field. In 2014, Michael looked to the Virginia community college system and decided to pursue his Associate degree in nursing at Germanna Community College. Thanks to his studies at Germanna, he was hired at Mary Washington Hospital for an externship, which puts him in line for a position at Mary Washington after he graduates in May.

“For living in the area, there’s only a few colleges and community colleges around here that offer a nursing program with the flexibility that Germanna offers.”

In his time at Germanna, Michael found the community college system to be very accommodating. To students’ benefit, credits earned at an institution like Germanna can be later counted toward a four-year degree. Additionally, Germanna worked for him — and many other students — because of its affordability. Even after the GI Bill, Michael would have had to shell out expensive tuition fees at a private institution.

“When you talk about cost effectiveness for a three-credit course, you’re paying under almost $500. If you go to major institution, a three-credit course is up in the thousands.”

Like Ralph, Michael’s dedication to service and improving the lives of others determined his course in life — and he knows Ralph shares that same devotion and passion for doing good by folks in the commonwealth.

“He has a willingness to hear, to make things better … It’s refreshing to hear someone wanting to get things going — not only for the people living here, but to make sure those who live here, stay here.”

In Virginia, we’re guided by faith. We’re optimistic about the future of our students and neighbors, and we hold the conviction that no matter who you are or where you’re from, there’s opportunity for everyone in our commonwealth. “Always faithful” isn’t just a motto. It’s one of Virginia’s core values — and it’s embodied by folks like Michael every day.

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