Community rallies to fund CMU scholarship in honor of fallen son

This story has been updated to include the news that the President of Central Michigan University made a donation to match funds raised by local students for the Carter Moody Scholarship. 

It’s an awful story, someone’s child passing away. But if there’s a ray of sunlight to be found, it’s the way in which the community has responded.


In August 2020, Carter Moody passed away at the age of 9, surrounded by his family; his father, Mark, his mother, Carol, and his brothers, Trevor and Josh.


Carter’s dad, Mark, is a longtime faculty member in the Special Education department at Central Michigan University (CMU). Following the news, Mark’s colleagues, Jodell Heroux and Holly Hoffman, took it upon themselves to honor Carter’s memory by starting the Carter Moody Scholarship.

Born at just 28 weeks into the pregnancy and weighing just 1 pound, 15 ounces, Carter himself would benefit from special education services over the years. His namesake scholarship will provide financial support to future special educators.


“Often it’s an individual donor that wants to do something specific. In this case, it was a true collective effort,” says Megan Moreno, Senior Engagement Officer of Advancement & Alumni Relations at CMU. Moreno helped Mark’s colleagues start the scholarship.

“We started spreading the word about the scholarship and immediately we were receiving responses. So many of Mark’s former students gave, the alumni gave. They all talked about the impact Mark has had on their lives. Even their family members have donated. It’s really very touching.”

Then in February, teachers in the Service Learning group at Mary McGuire Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant, where Carter had attended school, reached out to Moreno. The students had raised $544 for the scholarship through their Valentine’s Day candy gram fundraiser.


“The fact that they raised this money through candy sales and the fact that they’re honoring their former classmate — it’s another heartwarming thing that this scholarship came together out of the goodness of people’s hearts,” says Moreno.

Following the fundraiser, CMU President Dr. Bob Davies made a donation matching the amount raised by the students, bringing the total contribution to $1,088.

“CMU is a community that lifts each other up, and the students who raised money for the Carter Moody Scholarship truly exemplify that spirit through their heartfelt generosity,” says Davies. “I wanted to do something to not only support the memory of Carter and the scholarship, but to express my gratitude to those students for their efforts.”


The Service Learning group will receive a letter of appreciation from the Dean of CMU’s College of Education and Human Services, thanking them for their efforts. Moreno is also sending a box of CMU apparel and merchandise as a gift for the teachers and students.


“I just want the children to feel that joy in having done something for others and to be recognized for it,” says Moreno.

The first Carter Moody Scholarship will be awarded for the 2021-2022 academic school year. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2021, which can be found online. The scholarship is also accepting donations.

Photo Courtesy of the Moody Family. Reflecting on our initial conversation, Moreno sent this follow-up email:

“The Carter Moody Scholarship is so meaningful because it represents how the greater CMU and Mt. Pleasant communities have come together to support the Moody family and to honor Carter’s memory by providing support for aspiring Special Educators. The efforts of the Teacher leaders and Service Learning students at Mary McGuire elementary school further verifies that a spirit of compassion, service, generosity, and kindness is being fostered in our community at every level of education. That spirit will continue to grow as recipients of the Carter Moody Scholarship carry forth these ideals in their own classrooms, having benefited from the support they received.”

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