MARIETTA— At Washington State Community College (WSCC), Zachary Eddy got a jumpstart on his future through the early college option. His commitment to education has not only resulted in a successful career and some well-deserved professional recognition, but has allowed him to return to where it all started and serve on the WSCC Foundation Board of Directors.
Before many of his peers finished their bachelor’s degrees, Eddy had already begun accelerating in his dream career as an attorney. And while preemptively catapulting his career wasn’t easy, he credits hard work, a steadfast vision, and Washington State Community College with providing him a solid launching pad.
“The guidance and support I received at Washington State served as a firm foundation upon which I am building my career,” confirmed Eddy. “Studying at WSCC was the all-important first step in my career planning; the opportunities opened up to me, and the overall trajectory of my career, are a direct result of my time at Washington State,” he said.
Eddy said joining the Foundation Board of Directors was a “no brainer” and added, “Giving back to Washington State and promoting the mission of the college is very important to me; I’m excited to continue to do that, now as a member of a board of directors filled with exceptional leaders in this community.”
By the time he was just 23 years old, Eddy held a Liberal Arts Transfer and General Science Transfer associate degrees from Washington State Community College (WSCC), a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Marietta College, his Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Law, and had passed both the Ohio and West Virginia bar exams and landed a job at a well-recognized law firm in Columbus. Recently, after his fifth anniversary in the practice of law, Eddy joined the prestigious law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP—one of the Midwest’s leading law firms with over 800 attorneys—in Dayton, Ohio, where he focuses on general corporate law and mergers & acquisitions.
His drive and determination have garnered him significant distinction among his peers. In 2018, he was named New Attorney of the Year Pro Bono Award, Legal Aid Society Columbus, and this year he was honored as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star, an award earned by fewer than 3-percent of Ohio’s attorneys.
To get to where he is today, however, Eddy needed to establish some pretty significant goals early in his life. In fact, he was a junior at Fort Frye High School when he decided to get a jumpstart on college. He was able to make that leap thanks to Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO), a program that today is called College Credit Plus which is Ohio’s early college initiative that allows 7th through 12th-grade students the opportunity to earn college credits at no cost to them. “I thoroughly researched my options at Washington State and I knew this was the path for me,” said Eddy.
Throughout the final two years of high school Eddy attended WSCC full-time. “I knew there was a lot of education in the cards for me and participating in PSEO was the right path to get me into my legal career.”
He graduated college in 2012 magna cum laude. And with the credits he earned, was able to shave two years off his academic timeline, enrolling at Marietta College as a second-semester junior. While earning his bachelor’s degree, he fortified his education by interning for the Marietta City Law Director’s Office and U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson’s Office.
Maintaining his momentum, Eddy completed his degree at Marietta with cum laude standing and went straight to law school where he again accelerated academically and ultimately graduated cum laude.
During law school, he earned real-life experience when he worked as a legal extern for the Honorable Phillip J. Green, US Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Michigan. He also completed an internship with “The Nature Conservancy,” an international organization focused on conservation and environmental issues, which fit with his energy/environmental interests.
The WSCC Foundation is currently working on new and innovative ways to raise funds and develop new partnerships. It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable corporation administered by a Board of Directors composed of community leaders and institutional representatives. Gifts made to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are used exclusively to support the College’s mission, its programs, and its students. To learn more about how you can establish a scholarship at WSCC, please contact the Foundation at 740-885-5706 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.