When former Arlington High School student Kris Hawbaker was named one of the Texas Rangers Richard Greene scholars in 2003, he didn’t yet envision flying the U. S. Navy’s slickest new warplane designed to fight the global war on terror. And he definitely had not even dreamed about being named the Pilot of the Year for the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance.
Hawbaker was promoted recently and will officially wear the rank of lieutenant commander later this year. I caught up with him at the recent reunion reception for the former scholars where more than 40 of the 114 alumni gathered to visit and catch up on the latest career and family news.
Established in 1998 by former Rangers president Tom Schieffer, the ballclub announced at that time plans to spend $1 million over 20 years to fund a unique scholarship program with an emphasis on community service and named the program in honor of former Arlington mayor Richard Greene.
Since then, the Rangers have awarded a $10,000 scholarship annually to a senior from each of Arlington’s high schools. Program participants complete a rigorous internship during their senior year that acquaints them with selected nonprofits, the Arlington ISD, the Texas Rangers and local government entities. They…