The mission of the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc. is to honor the memory of Michael T. McCormick, Jr. by encouraging young people to attain higher education so that they may achieve personal growth and reach their career goals. By receiving financial relief, the foundation hopes to provide the recipient with the ability to better prepare themselves for life's many challenges. The Foundation seeks to support the recipient to realize success within their families, communities and beyond.
A Little Bit About Michael
Michael T. McCormick, Jr. was our first child, a boy - and boy did he come into this world in a big way. He weighed 10lb 4oz at birth, and he was 23 inches long! He never wore newborn clothes or diapers or anything!
He was a really good kid that wanted to do everything!! He loved bike riding, playing flag football, soccer, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, Pokémon and all that stuff when he was little.
Flag football came next! The Jets, the team Michael was on, won the SUPERBOWL one year!! After that, he became involved in the West Orange PAL – he played football and baseball in that league, and basketball for the West Orange Mountaintop League. All of this gave him a great foundation for high school sports, and more importantly, taught him how to be a loyal team player.
As he grew up, he focused on friends, football and lacrosse. He played both sports in high school, and gave it his all. Michael went to Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, NJ because he was proud of the fact that his father and his grandfather, as well as his uncle had all graduated from there…he was the third generation to graduate, class of 2008.
Michael loved high school, but was really looking forward to college. He got his GPA up to 3.89, and applied to at least 10 colleges. When he received the acceptance from Penn State University Park, he knew that he didn’t need to look any further. He had always wanted to go to Penn State, but didn’t think he would get in. We took him to several Penn State football games when he was younger, and the thoughts and good memories of Happy Valley stuck with him.
When Michael got to Penn State, he really blossomed. He had two roommates who he became like brothers, Jared and Luis. They lived in what Penn State called “supplemental housing” but what Michael and the other described as “the best room on the floor” – room 520, Geary Hall. When we got there, one of the first things we noticed was that you could see Beaver Stadium scoreboard from their window! WOW!
Michael took to college life with the gusto he did everything else with. He and his two “brothers” all pledged the same fraternity - Sigma Phi Epsilon. He never told me why, he just said that the guys were cool there. They went through pledging, the three of them, like brothers.
We received the call at 3am…he was a BROTHER at Sigma Phi Epsilon!!! All we could say was congratulations, and don’t ever scare us by calling that late again!!
Michael was at every home football game, he actually danced and sang at “the Greek Sing”(we watched him do that on YouTube) but we believe what touched him the most about Penn State, was “The Thon”. He went “canning” with his brother at the fraternity house and his sister sorority to raise money for The Thon, he must have bought about 5 sweatshirts for the event, and then he went to it. He was so touched and moved by how his brothers were dancing, he and the rest of his fraternity were there cheering them on, and it was all for “the kids”. His fraternity “adopted” two kids, Max and Kyla for whom they were raising funds. Both of the kids were there with their parents, and Michael called us all choked up to say how emotional it all was…and he was not one who was big on emotion… All in all, Michael loved his experiences at Penn State.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, August 2, 2009, the day after his 19th birthday, an unimaginable tragedy happened. Michael was in the wrong car on the wrong road at the wrong time. On an otherwise quiet Sunday morning, Michael died in a car accident – he was gone from our lives, but not from our hearts.
In order to make sense of his tragic and untimely death, we decided to start a foundation in Michael’s honor – the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc. – was formed to help deserving students and families to pay for education or anything else that they may need. To date, we have given out over $10,000.00 in scholarships and donations, and we plan to continue doing good work in Michael memory for as long as we can.
We love you Michael, keep smiling down on all of us!!!
Dad, Mom and Meaghan