HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown alumna receives Navy scholarship

Moorestown alumna receives Navy scholarship

Elizabeth Gladden reflects on a prestigious honor

Special to The Sun: Moorestown High graduate Elizabeth Gladden (right) poses for a photo with Petty Officer Austin Boone as she accepts her four-year scholarship award from the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program.

Moorestown High alumna Elizabeth Gladden has received a full, four-year scholarship from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program.

The Class of ‘22 graduate will join Drexel University’s Navy ROTC program in the fall and study chemical engineering.

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“I had heard about ROTC when I was applying for college,” Gladden said. “I started to do a bit of research on it, but at the same time, my brother was actually enlisting in the Air Force Reserves … He kind of inspired me to look into the military a bit.”

Having gone through an application process that began last December, Gladden got the news around late April about the scholarship. She shared her initial thoughts about the award.

“I was kind of worried that I would lose it for some reason,” she recalled. “ … I was kind of, I guess, in denial you could say, like I just thought it wasn’t going to work out for some reason.”

Gladden’s decision to join the program was reinforced after she spoke with a midshipman at Drexel’s battalion.

“ … He also just in general said about how the people you meet here are … they’re just the kind of friends that you have forever and you can rely on them to do anything,” she noted. “Hearing his perspective made me feel a little more comfortable and a little bit more committed to the whole process in general, and it made me feel a little bit better with the idea of going to NSI (New Student Indoctrination).”

Special to The Sun: Gladden (center) and Boone (left) are joined by Moorestown High Principal Andrew Seibel as Gladden accepts her four-year scholarship award.

Gladden was also personally selected by Cmdr. Todd Winn from the Philadelphia Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) for her academic achievements and leadership qualities. This summer, she will spend three weeks at the Navy Recruit Training Command in Illinois for NSI. 

According to netc.navy.mil, the mission of NSI is to provide standardized basic military instruction to midshipmen candidates so they are successfully integrated into the NROTC program and college life.

Gladden graduated high school with the highest honors and was an AP scholar with distinction. She also competed with the Moorestown Crew Team for four years and will be a counselor at Camp Dark Waters in Medford this summer. 

Gladden acknowledged that while this year had its challenges, she’s looking forward to making memories with friends and family.

“This year was probably the hardest year, even harder than junior year,” she remembered. “ … It was a really crazy, hard and busy year, but extremely rewarding.”

As Gladden prepares for a new chapter, she advised Moorestown High’s class of 2023 to be prepared for anything.

“ … Senior year is as hard as you make it …” she noted. “If you’re taking hard classes and you challenge yourself in school and out of school, you can definitely make it pretty hard. 

“If you do choose to make it hard, just be ready for that.”


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