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December 02, 2011

Choosing to succeed

South University Newsroom

Tom Andrew
Class of 2012
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Savannah Campus
Employment: Full-time student

Early in Ty Cobb’s minor-league career, the story goes, he sent Atlanta sportswriter Grantland Rice several postcards under different aliases, all praising a certain young ballplayer for the Anniston Steelers named Ty Cobb.

South University information technology student Tom Andrew did not have to resort to those kinds of self-promotional tactics, but when he saw an email from student affairs about the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation scholarships, he knew he should apply. Andrew has been named to the Dean’s list 10 times and the President’s list once, so it came as no surprise to the faculty and staff of South University’s Savannah campus when he was chosen for the $3,000 award.

As the postcard story shows, Ty Cobb was more than just a ballplayer. Although he never made more than $40,000 a year playing baseball, shrewd investing – including in a small soft-drink company in Atlanta called Coca-Cola – allowed him to become a millionaire by his 40th birthday.

As for Andrew, he sees investing in education as the way to opportunity.

“For 10 years I have been the manager of a warehouse distribution center for a distributor of emergency vehicle equipment,” Andrew explains. “I decided to come back to school because I was told that I had topped out in pay and could not advance any further.”

Andrew is now pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and hopes to work in information security and access protection after graduation.

“What has helped me the most at South University has been the flexibility,” says Andrew. “I’ve taken classes online and on campus. I will complete my last class in the spring and graduate in June 2012.”

Ty Cobb never went to college, but he appreciated the value of an education. So does Tom Andrew, but that’s where most of the similarities between the two men end. After all, Cobb was a hall of fame baseball player who still holds several major-league records.

“I played center field on my little league team,” Andrew remembers. “But I didn’t make the high school team.”

Regardless of their differences, Tom Andrew is thankful that Cobb’s vision led him to establish the Ty Cobb Educational Foundation. Although Andrew’s achievements may not get him elected to a hall of fame, he knows that the same determination Cobb showed on the field will pay off for him as well.