Daniel Schommer Memorial Lineman Scholarship

May 22, 2024

Modern life relies upon electricity to run, and the linemen who ensure the power keeps flowing. Pearl River Community College has been training linemen for decades. With the recently funded Daniel Schommer Memorial Lineman Scholarship, students in the program will have another option for help paying for school. 

Young man stands with three small children in with water behind them.
Daniel Schommer with his children.

A Carriere native, Schommer graduated from Pearl River Central High School before earning an Instrumentation and Electronics degree from PRCC. He then returned for the Lineman Technology Program. Schommer was in the right-of-way crew, a lineman for a while, and a serviceman for the last part of his 15-year career with Coast Electric Power Company.  

After a 14-month battle with Glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer), Schommer passed away on October 26, 2022, leaving behind his wife, Caitlyn, and three children. 

Young man and woman with three children sit in front of a fireplace.
Daniel Schommer with his family.

“Daniel worked on and off throughout the beginning of his illness and was dedicated to his job,” said Caitlyn Schommer Fortenberry. “Beyond that, he was devoted to his family, outdoors, and his faith. I am glad this scholarship will help keep his name alive.” 

Man wearing harness and hard hat works on powerline on top of pole.
Daniel Schommer at work as a lineman.

Jonathon Culpepper was a coworker and friend of Schommer’s.  

“We started working together in 2013,” said Culpepper. “Daniel was a quiet but humorous person with a knack for imitating people Forrest Gump was his favorite. He had a way of keeping the workday as fun as it possibly could be.” 

He sought to honor Schommer in a way that would keep his name alive while encouraging others to consider becoming utility linemen through financial assistance. 

Donations from family, friends, and coworkers were used to fund the scholarship.  

The scholarship recipient will receive $500 per semester for a maximum of 4 semesters and is exclusive to students enrolled in PRCC’s Utility Lineman Program. This opportunity is available to both traditional and non-traditional students. 

“The Foundation and College are forever grateful for those that establish scholarships, especially in memory of loved ones,” said Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association, Delana Harris. “These scholarships are important to the success of the institution but are special pieces of our history and connection to the families and to our communities.  

“Our goal in the Foundation is to create living legacies through scholarship support. The Daniel Schommer Memorial Lineman Scholarship will assist future utility lineman with reaching their personal and professional goals. Thank you to the family for establishing this scholarship and to all who have given so generously.” 

Community members who want to donate to this scholarship can do so online, by phone, or by mail. Online donations are made at prcc.edu/alumni/donate, where you can select general scholarships and put “Daniel Schommer Memorial Lineman Scholarship” in the comment box.  

Phone donations can be made by calling the PRCC Development Foundation at 601-403-1183. Alternatively, checks can be mailed to PRCC Development Foundation at PO Box 5389 Poplarville, MS 39470. Please make sure to note Daniel Schommer Memorial Lineman Scholarship on the check. 

Anyone interested in starting a scholarship fund can start the process through an online form at prcc.edu/alumni/scholarship.  The scholarship can be named and have specific criteria for the eligibility of students for the award. Fully funding a scholarship requires a minimum of $10,000 that can be delivered over time or in a lump sum.  

Questions about the process can be directed to Harris at dharris@prcc.edu.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article by Laura O’Neill. Photos supplied by Caitlyn Schommer Fortenberry.

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