Mitch Hoover, a 2010 graduate of Cowley College, plans to take part in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5 in order to raise money for the USO (United Service Organizations).

Cowley College logoAfter graduating from Cowley College, Hoover spent five years in the U.S. Marines Corps before being discharged honorably in November 2015.

Hoover, who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, is asking individuals to donate to his running in the New York City Marathon at

All of the proceeds from this effort will go to the USO.

“I have always wanted to run a marathon, even if it is just once, and I cannot imagine a better time and place than my time here in NYC,” Hoover said. “The USO was always a safe haven for me, no matter where I was. There was always a place with food, entertainment (and) financial help. It made my time serving much more enjoyable and I wanted to give back.”

Prior to the New York City Marathon, Hoover also will run in the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 22.

“It’s a bit much, but the opportunity came up to do it, so I figured, ‘Why not?’” Hoover said.

Hoover’s service, education

Hoover enlisted in the Marines in December 2010. While he was in the Marines, he mainly served as a V-22 Osprey crew chief in Okinawa, Japan, where he was involved in humanitarian operations in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan and in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

He also did a six-month stint in Okinawa as a Military Police watch commander.

Hoover graduated from Oxford High School in 2008. At Oxford, he was involved heavily in the theater department and yearbook. He was unsure how he was going to pay for college until he met a former Cowley College theater director, the late Scott MacLaughlin.

“Luckily, Scott met with me, arranged an audition at my school and gave me a full ride,” he said. “It was a blessing.”

Along with his involvement in Cowley’s theater department, Hoover met Cowley journalism instructor Meg Smith and became involved with the journalism department.

In addition to MacLaughlin and Smith, he said Marlys Cervantes, Mark Flickinger, Cara Kem, Chris Mayer, Jamison Rhoads and John Sefel all were instrumental influences during his time at Cowley.

“They all helped (to) shape me in some way and I wouldn’t be the same without them,” Hoover said.

Current pursuits for Hoover

Hoover graduated from Cowley College in 2010, but returned to the school for a semester while auditioning for bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree programs in New York City.

He currently is enrolled in the BFA in dramatic arts program at The New School for Drama, focusing on acting and experimental theater.

Hoover also recently began interning at The Wooster Group, which is a an experimental theater company founded by Spalding Gray and Liz Lecompte more than 40 years ago.

“If it wasn’t for Cowley and their generous scholarship, I would not have had the freedom to explore and learn more about myself as a human being,” he said.

“The teachers I had there pushed me and that ultimately led to me studying in NYC. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.