Ed Murphy, BA '02

Harry CarterEnlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard shortly after high school, Ed Murphy holds a deep appreciation for the nation’s military.

Having grown up in Ithaca, N.Y., Murphy initially began his degree pursuits directly out of high school at Cornell University in Ithaca.

“I, admittedly, didn’t apply myself at Cornell, so I eventually ended up enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving as a marine science technician in both the Coast Guard and the reserves,” he recalled.

In 2000, Murphy applied to Thomas Edison to in order to complete his undergraduate degree in environmental studies, transferring credits he’d earned from Cornell as well as earning credit for military training he’d completed as a member of the Coast Guard.

“The bulk of my courses I’d taken through distance learning at Thomas Edison, coupled with those from a local community college as well as the University of South Florida, and credit-by-examination credits earned through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP),” he said.

While completing his degree, Murphy was recalled to active duty immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, serving the nation for an additional year. “Thomas Edison allowed me to continue to work while completing my degree and my G.I. Bill benefits aided me in paying for my education,” he explained. “While it was a bit of struggle for me financially, without my degree, I would not have the well paid job I do now that I thoroughly enjoy.”

In 2002, Murphy earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies, working in various capacities related to emergency management ever since. Since 2012, he has been working as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, currently residing in Alexandria, Va.

“I have always felt that whatever I give to Thomas Edison is put to good use,” he expressed. “If my contributions can help even one student, especially a military or nursing student, complete their education, then I am satisfied.”