A new scholarship endowment for Ferris State University students seeking a career in criminal justice has been established by friends of an alumnus killed in the line of duty.
The Trevor Slot Memorial Scholarship Endowment was created to honor the 1993 Ferris graduate, a nine-year veteran of the Walker Police Department, trusted friend, husband of 11 years and father of two young girls, who was killed on Oct. 13, 2011 while trying to stop fleeing bank robbers. He was 41.
“It is our hope that the Ferris endowment will honor Trevor by selecting special individuals who share a passion for law enforcement as Trevor had,” said Scott Dood, a childhood friend. “We hope that the endowment can help others in need the way Trevor helped us. It is an honor for me and for all of us to call Trevor Slot our friend.”
Dood and Slot were third graders at North Oakview Elementary School when they became friends. As they grew, their circle of friends grew to a group of 10 who attended middle, junior high and high school in the Northview Public School district before graduating together in 1989.
“We have remained close friends for over 30 years, and most of us have stayed in the Grand Rapids area to raise our families,” said Dood, who referred to Slot as “a load lightener.” “He had a special way of making every time we spent together better and more fun. He had a way of cheering you up if you were down or making you happier when things were going great.”
He cheered his friends’ success, too, even as he achieved his own by securing work as a police officer, marrying the love of his life, Kim, and having two daughters, Katelyn and Abigail.
“Trevor was a wonderful friend and extremely supportive of his family,” Dood said of his friend, who had a great jump shot and a knack for delivering Jackie Gleason one-liners. “He was always rooting for you.”
After Slot was killed, his friends joined forces with the Walker Police Department to host the Officer Slot Memorial Golf Outing. Proceeds from the 2012 event were combined with memorial gifts to create the scholarship endowment for Ferris students “with the same passion as Trevor.”
“Trevor knew from an early age that his passion was law enforcement,” Dood said. “This was a good way to honor our friend and hero.”
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time junior or senior majoring in Criminal Justice who maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA.
“This scholarship is a tribute to Officer Slot that will provide relief for a student who otherwise might not be able to afford a class or books,” said Michelle Johnston, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “Every year, it can really help a student who truly wants to be a law enforcement officer.”
That’s what Dood and his friends hope for.
“Trevor truly cared about people,” he said. “He was a wonderful family man and cared deeply for his friends. He was a gifted person who had an incredible laugh. I sure do miss that.”
A second scholarship honoring Slot was created in 2012 by Francis Crowe, former director of the Criminal Justice program who retired in 2009. The Trevor Slot Memorial Annual Scholarship has been awarded twice so far.
Slot died less than three months after another Ferris alumnus was killed in the line of duty. Ryan McCandless, a 2005 graduate, was working for the Rapid City, S.D. Police Department when he and a fellow officer died in an Aug. 2, 2011 shootout that occurred during a routine traffic stop. He was 28.
His parents created the Ryan McCandless Memorial Endowed Scholarship in his memory for Criminal Justice majors at Ferris.
A third Ferris graduate who died in the line of duty also is honored with a scholarship. The Jessica Nagle-Wilson Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a Criminal Justice student in memory of the 2000 alumna.
Nagle-Wilson was 26 when she died July 28, 2002 while working for the Hazel Park Police Department. She was responding to a disturbance call when she was shot and killed.
Ferris’ Criminal Justice program, which is marking its 40th anniversary this year, has 1,200 students, making it the university’s largest academic program.