Finding Greatness: Ed Jolley

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, April 1, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: Pressroom | Students | School of Aviation | Finding Greatness

Eastman, GA


Aviation science major Ed Jolley, who recently donated bone marrow to help his father, is inspiring MGA classmates, staff and faculty with his determined dedication to his family and his studies.

Full Name: Edward Burdette Jolley III.

Age: 20.

Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.

Residence: Pooler, Ga.

High School: “I went to New Hampstead High School, where I was a member of the football and baseball team for four years. I also participated in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) for one year, and I was dual-enrolled at Savannah State University for my senior year.”

Family: “My family supports me tremendously. My parents, Edward and Tammy Jolley, are great role models because they’ve both been to college and they understand the benefits that come from it. My dad is smart and successful and I want to be like him when I get older. Many people would say my parents are strict, but I know they care and they want me to succeed. I have two older sisters that are also great role models. My oldest sister Tina graduated from St. Paul’s college, and now works at Savannah State University, and my other sister Tempest graduated from Savannah State University and works for Sherwin Williams. They have shown me that college is important and that it can open many doors in the future. I also have a 14-year-old sister Lolita, who I try to be a good role model for like my sisters are for me.

“Since May of 2018 my father has been battling with acute myeloid leukemia, which interferes with the production of normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. He has always been there for us so to see him struggle like this has been tough for all of us. In September of last year, I was selected to be a donor for his bone marrow transplant, which has helped him tremendously. After the transplant he had to live in Atlanta for almost 4 months while he was recovering. My mother was his caregiver and they were both away from home while I was here in school. My older sisters had to take care of my younger sister, and my grandmother moved down from Maryland to live with us and help take care of the house. It was a chaotic, busy, stressful, and worrisome four months. Thankfully, in January of this year, my dad had recovered enough to be able to go back home, and things are slowly but surely starting to feel a little more normal. I am extremely glad I was able to help my dad recover from this illness, and he is starting to feel better every day. He estimates that he may be able return to work at Savannah State University in June of this year.”

Employment: Resident assistant in Gateway Hall on the Cochran Campus.

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science and Management, flight track.

Class Rank: Junior.

Primary Campuses: Eastman and Cochran.

Activities: Residence Housing Association member.

Career Goals: “I aspire to become an airline pilot, whether that be with Delta, JetBlue, United, etc. I want to be a pilot because, when I was growing up, airplanes fascinated me. I loved being in airports. My parents told me to choose a job in which I would wake up and look forward to going to work instead of waking up and hating my job. When it was time to choose what I wanted to do, becoming a pilot seemed like a great option. I also want to travel and see many places, and this job would allow me to do just that.”

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … “MGA is the only public university in Georgia with aviation so that immediately got my attention. With the school being in state, that means it is much less expensive than other schools out of state that I was looking at. MGA is also not very far from home so that was another plus.”

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “Coming into MGA, I didn’t have any aviation experience at all. After I started flying, I realized that I wanted to keep going in that profession."

His greatest academic experience has been … “When I soloed for the first time as part of my flight training. I was very nervous, but also very excited to fly by myself. I just had to relax and apply what my instructor taught me, and it turned out great.”

To him, “greatness” means … “Setting goals and accomplishing them and being successful in anything that you decide to pursue.”

In five years … “I’ll be flying, either with the military or an airline. I have been considering joining the Coast Guard, but I am not quite sure which route I want to take just yet.”