MADISON – Michael Donovan, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be awarded the Marine Corps Commandant’s Trophy as the top candidate at the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School (OCS).
He will be honored at halftime of the Wisconsin men’s basketball game vs. UW-Milwaukee on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Col. Jason Morris, commanding officer of the 9th Marine District (based at Naval Station Great Lakes in Great Lakes, Illinois), will present the trophy. Milwaukee-based Capt. Chad Luebke, officer selection officer for Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, will also attend.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank plans to attend and accept a trophy on behalf of the university in recognition of its contribution to Donovan’s development and success.
Donovan, an electrical engineering and mathematics major originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, enrolled in the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course as a sophomore. After a board of officers selected him from a group of peers attending colleges and universities throughout the Midwest, he attended two six-week sessions in Quantico, Virginia, during the summers of 2014 and 2015.
Officer candidates are evaluated on leadership, academic performance and physical fitness. Donovan distinguished himself out of more than 230 initial candidates, which dwindled to 190 as candidates succumbed to injury, dropped out or were asked to leave.
Despite a heavily scrutinized assessment period designed to break candidates down under pressure, Donovan never failed any of his evaluated events.