Featured Media, Press Releases, News | 07/03/2015

Chicago, IL – The National Football League (NFL) and the Pat Tillman Foundation are proud to announce that Army Sergeant Joseph Wheaton of Phoenix, Ariz. has been selected as the 2015 NFL-TILLMAN SCHOLAR.

In 2010, the NFL and Pat Tillman Foundation established the NFL-Tillman Scholar award to annually honor an individual who exemplifies Pat Tillman’s legacy of service. The scholarship is part of the Tillman Scholars program established by the Pat Tillman Foundation to support educational opportunities for military veterans and their spouses who are committed to a life of service in and out of uniform. As a result, in part from fundraising through the Salute to Service campaign, the Pat Tillman Foundation funds up to 60 scholarships annually for Tillman Scholars to pursue degree programs of their choice in medicine, law, business, government, education, science and the arts. The scholarship covers direct study-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books and living expenses.

“Motivated by his service overseas and at home as a teacher, Sergeant Wheaton is passionate about closing the opportunity gap for children in our education system,” said Marie Tillman Shenton, President and Co-Founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation. “We’re proud to honor him as the 2015 NFL-Tillman Scholar and, most importantly, empower him as a leader in the classroom and community.”

After multiple tours as an Army Ranger, Wheaton redeployed home to earn his law degree and then embarked on a two-year journey with Teach for America. Inspired by his teaching experiences, he is focused on addressing education policy issues, including improving access to quality education and recruiting more leaders for the classroom. While working as a full-time teacher, he is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Secondary Education at Arizona State University – Pat Tillman’s alma mater. Find out what inspires Wheaton to serve at and join the NFL and the Pat Tillman Foundation in celebrating military servicemen and women during Salute to Service month in November.

 About the Pat Tillman Foundation

In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships–building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit


Michelle McCarthy, Pat Tillman Foundation, (773) 598-4215, [email protected]

Isaac Taylor, NFL, (212) 450-2279, [email protected]