The award, sponsored by the AICPA, is bestowed upon a student who has experienced extreme hardships and demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. The award includes a $5,000 cash stipend.
Today, William Chapman is a high performing student with an excellent academic record. He holds multiple leadership positions, and volunteers in his local and campus communities. His path to academic success is what makes him exceptional.
Growing up, Chapman dreamed of serving in special operations with the U.S. Armed Forces. After graduating high school, he joined the Marines, and performed intelligence and Improvised Explosive Devise cleanup missions in Afghanistan. For his service, he was awarded the Honor of the Purple Heart, which commemorates the sacrifices of America's servicemen and servicewomen who were wounded in battle.
After battling significant Post Traumatic Stress Disorder while attempting to reenlist in the Marines, Chapman decided to enroll at James Madison University and begin studying accounting.
“Will Chapman is a prime example of why the Medal of Inspiration Award exists,” said Yvonne Hinson, AICPA Senior Director - Academic in Residence. “In the face of great adversity he has continued to persevere and meet the goals he set out to accomplish. He has used each obstacle as a building block to propel himself forward to become a successful student and officer of Beta Alpha Psi.”
While at JMU, Chapman has earned a spot on the Dean’s List, tutored his fellow students, and worked with the Skyline Literacy program to help refugees studying for their naturalization test. He has been recognized at the James Madison University - Evening of Excellence for earning nearly 100 percent in his accounting principles classes. He will be serving on the Executive Board of his Beta Alpha Psi chapter and is on track to becoming chapter president.
“Will is an inspiration to his peers and anyone who hears his story. The AICPA is proud to sponsor an award that recognizes students like Will,” added Hinson.