Student named to receive new scholarship in memory of fallen alum

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A student in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will be the first recipient of a scholarship created to honor the memory of Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove, who was killed in the line of duty in November 2010.

Grove, who worked for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, graduated from Penn State in 2004 with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. He was the son of Dana S. and Lucy R. Grove of Waynesboro, Pa.

The first recipient of the scholarship, Nicholas Moore, completed an associate degree in Wildlife Technology at Penn State DuBois in May and now is enrolled as a junior in the Wildlife and Fisheries Science baccalaureate degree program at the University Park campus.

Moore was president of the Penn State DuBois Environmental, Conservation and Outing Club from 2011 to 2012 and is currently vice president of the club. He worked as a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to clean up game land rifle ranges in spring 2011 and to trap white-tailed deer for research. He also helped staff a bear-check station during bear-hunting season in 2011.

The $50,000 principal of the endowment funding the scholarship was contributed by the Conservation Officers of Pennsylvania Association in cooperation with the Grove family and the Fraternal Order of Police, Conservation Police Officers, Lodge #114.

"There are no words that can undo, or even lessen, the tragedy that initiated the establishment of this new scholarship at Penn State," said Bernard J. Schmader, president of the association. "But, it is safe to say without reservation that David, in his ultimate and final sacrifice, epitomized the inordinate courage, dedication and resolve that we, his fellow fish and game wardens, so admired.

"We hope to emulate these qualities that he exhibited so clearly as we carry on with the work for which David gave his life. We feel confident in saying that David is not really gone from us, for he still lives in the hearts of those who knew him, in the natural world around us and, now, in the recipients of this ongoing memorial."

Grove enjoyed being outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He knew early on he wanted to become a conservation officer, so he enrolled in Penn State's Wildlife and Fisheries Science program to further his career aspirations.

While earning a bachelor's degree at Penn State, he also was commissioned as a deputy wildlife conservation officer in Franklin County. He went on to earn a position in the 27th class of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Ross Leffler School of Conservation as a wildlife conservation officer cadet.

After graduating in 2008, he received a commission as a district wildlife conservation officer and was assigned to a district in southern Adams County.

In the weeks leading up to his fatal shooting, Grove, 31, was informed by local citizens about repeated deer poaching near the Gettysburg Battlefield and Eisenhower Farm historical sites. On the night of Nov. 11, 2010, he witnessed a violator shoot a deer from the side of the road with the aid of a spotlight. Grove gave chase while radioing information to Adams County Control Center.

Grove ultimately was struck by a fatal round of gunfire after the poacher, who was a convicted felon, decided to engage in armed resistance rather than return to prison for his illegal acts. The man, thanks to Grove's adherence to protocol and procedures, was apprehended less than 12 hours later.

A few hours before his untimely death, Grove completed an email response to an interview from a local outdoors writer. When asked what his job's greatest reward was, he replied, "Being able to make a difference for the sportsmen and women of the state and being able to teach the future hunters of Pennsylvania."

To a question regarding what event changed his life, he answered, "The day I found out I was accepted into the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Ross Leffler School of Conservation." And, finally, to the question of how he would like to be remembered, he responded, "That I did my job with enthusiasm and passion and that I treated people with the same respect that I would want to be treated with."

By endowing this scholarship in his name, Officer Grove is forever remembered by his family, fellow officers, coworkers, the law enforcement community and the citizens of this commonwealth for his enthusiasm, passion for his work and his professionalism.

 

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Last Updated October 04, 2012