Campbell accepts appointment to West Point
South Panola High School senior Eli Campbell will continue to be a cadet after he leaves Panola County.
Campbell, a member of the South Panola Air Force Junior ROTC, recently accepted his nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
A ceremony, which included family, friends and SP administrators, was held at the school Friday (March 1) to recognize Campbell’s accomplishment in being accepted to one of the top colleges in the nation.
“Getting into West Point means I am starting my legacy now with four years worth of continuous work and effort finally coming true,” Campbell said. “It is an honor to be selected to this prestigious school to represent Mississippi and South Panola. I am joining a great heritage of amazing leaders who helped define what this country is about. It also means I have helped open the door for others to follow and I hope others will shoot for the moon as I did.”
Col. Terry Stull from the West Point regional office said the nation’s top military academy receives over 15,000 applications each year. Of those applicants, approximately 1,200 are accepted. The acceptance to West Point translates to $400,000 worth of scholarship money for Campbell.
“I am truly blessed to receive this opportunity,” Campbell said.
SPHS Principal Rodney Flowers praised Campbell during the ceremony.
“He’s respectful, responsible, hardworking, versatile, dependable,” Flowers said. “Eli Campbell is an example of what is right about our younger generation.”
Campbell is an honor-roll student who is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, AFJROTC, football team and serves as a student assistant coach for the SPHS powerlifting team.
He attributes his time in the South Panola School District as a valuable asset to his acceptance to West Point.
“I honestly believe if I attended school anywhere else I may not have gotten in,” Campbell said. “South Panola has provided me with countless lessons and blessings along with amazing leadership experience in ROTC. The multiple dual credit and advanced placement courses offered at South Panola helped prepare me for the extensive amount of writing I had to do for the applications. I also believe without South Panola football I would not be in this position. I have learned what it takes to be tough and how not to give up. I have truly had the greatest coaches I could ever ask for.”
Campbell is the 18-year-old son of Thad and Emy Campbell. He has two sisters, Ally, a ninth-grader at SPHS, and Zoey, a fifth-grader at Pope.
To view more images from the ceremony, click here to open the photos in a new window.