William Floyd High School senior Xander Shirley has been selected to receive the prestigious SUNY Maritime College “Presidential NROTC Academy Scholarship,” a 100% five-year scholarship in the college’s electrical engineering program that covers all tuition, room, board and a monthly stipend. After he completes his studies, which includes a one-year electrical engineering preparatory program, he will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in engineering and earn a commission as an officer in the United States Navy.
Shirley, 18, of Shirley, NY, is a four-year member of the William Floyd High School NJROTC and has held various leadership positions in the unit including executive officer and platoon commander. He is graduating in the top 12% of his class and has participated in numerous extracurricular activities such as playing cello in the William Floyd High School symphonic orchestra and as a member of the varsity lacrosse team.
Commander Jay Tweed (USN/Ret.) and Senior Chief Dwight Becherer (USN/Ret.) describe Xander as an “outstanding cadet who is looked up to by others for setting a fine example.”
Cadet Shirley is no stranger to accolades as he was one of just 22 recipients nationwide to receive the “Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement” from the Legion of Valor of the United States, a group consisting of past Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipients. This award, one of the top honors for high school and college ROTC cadets, is given for scholastic excellence in all academic and military subjects.
Shirley’s school counselor, Danielle DeNunzio, describes him as “a well-rounded young man, who has much to offer,” she said, adding, “He is focused, goal-oriented, and never fails to go above and beyond. He is a positive role model both inside and outside of school, and an exemplary young man.”
Shirley is a decorated NJROTC cadet with awards such as the “Bronze JROTC Award” from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution for his high degree of merit with respect to his leadership qualities, military bearing and general excellence. He also received the unit’s Cadet of the Year honor for 2018, as well as the Honor Cadet award for the highest grade point average in 2016 and 2018.
Additional NJROTC awards and decorations include Distinguished Unit & Unit Achievement, Military Aptitude with Gold Torch, Naval Science Outstanding Cadet, Exemplary Conduct, Academic Stars for honor roll, Academic Team with Gold Torch, numerous exemplary personal appearance & conduct ribbons, countless participation and community service awards and more. He also had the opportunity to travel to Australia with the “People to People” student ambassador program prior to his freshman year.
In addition to his studies, he finds time to volunteer for Boots on the Ground NY, an organization that provides support to service members and veterans in numerous ways including sending care packages, food and more. He has also contributed his time and talents to the New York Blood Drive and Relay for Life, helping to raise much needed funds and awareness in order to help save lives.
Xander Shirley attended William Floyd schools K-12 including Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School and William Paca Middle School.