Marist High School senior Will Shanahan has earned an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.
Shanahan was nominated by Representative Dan Lipinski and completed several steps in the admissions process for the esteemed academy which opened in 1802. He will report on July 1, 2019 and has committed to four years of active duty and three years of reserve duty after graduation. He hopes to be assigned to the medical service branch or the armored division.
Shanahan visited with a Navy recruiter at the Marist college fair in March 2018, which sparked a desire to serve his country while pursuing his education. He also knew he wanted to have the opportunity to be active and be doing things outside; not just attending traditional classes.
He and his family knew it was very difficult to get an appointment, and Shanahan said he considered joining the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at a traditional college. In late January, however, he received his official paperwork and certificate of appointment in the mail. He said he and his family were shocked. “We were all so happy,” Shanahan said. “There were tears and screams.”
Last summer Shanahan attended the American Legion Illinois Premier Boys State, which is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. As for starting at West Point, Shanahan admits he is a little nervous. “The first three weeks of learning all the rules and adjusting to the physical training will be hard,” he said. He has been working out every day in preparation.
A graduate of Century Junior High, Shanahan has been a member of Marist’s service club, student ambassadors, student council, and the basketball and volleyball teams. He participated in the mission trip and retreat programs and is the president of the school’s spirit club.