SCF Graduate Establishes Fire Chief Mark Souders Memorial Scholarship

(Bradenton, Fla., May 30, 2014) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Spring 2014 Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate Tim Hyden has established a scholarship through the SCF Foundation Inc. in memory of Mark Souders, former SCF Associate in Science (A.S.) in Fire Science Technology program director and City of Bradenton fire chief.

Hyden, a training and safety officer for the East Manatee Fire Rescue District, donated $2,000, including $1,500 from his Outstanding Graduate Award winnings and $500 of his own money, to start the Fire Chief Mark Souders Memorial Scholarship, which will benefit students in SCF’s A.S. in Fire Science Technology and Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Public Safety Administration degree programs. The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2014-15 academic year.

A U.S. Air Force veteran and a Florida firefighter for 22 years, Hyden earned a B.A.S. in Public Safety Administration from SCF this spring. He was fortunate to be able to afford his own college education and wanted to give back by helping provide scholarships for students with financial need while honoring Souders for his commitment to the fire service and SCF.

Souders, past president of the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA), played a vital role in developing the B.A.S. in Public Safety Administration and B.A.S. in Homeland Security degrees. He accompanied SCF administrators to the State Board of Education meeting to emphasize the need for these programs in the area.

“Mark Souders was a great role model who always advocated pride in professionalism and the need for higher education in the fire service. His commitment to raising the bar for fire service personnel has been an inspiration,” Hyden said.

Souders’ influence has challenged Hyden to expand his knowledge and enhance his work in the fire service through higher education. Hyden intends to pursue a master’s degree in organizational leadership while continuing to work for the East Manatee Fire Rescue District.

Hyden is a graduate of the FFCA Emergency Services Leadership Institute and holds several state certifications through the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training. He received the 2012 13th Congressional District Career Service Award from Rep. Vern Buchanan and was selected as the 2007 East Manatee Fire Rescue Officer of the Year. He is a nationally recognized author and speaker on public safety issues, leadership and risk management, and serves on educational boards at SCF and Manatee Technical Institute. He also is a member of several fire service associations, including the FFCA, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Fire Investigators of Florida.

“We thank Tim Hyden for his generosity in funding educational scholarships for fire and public safety personnel that will enhance our community and ignite a charitable passion for others to follow,” said Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the SCF Foundation Inc. “Those who have an interest in this educational area are encouraged to contact the Foundation to learn more about how they can partner with the Foundation to assist these students.”

To contribute to the Fire Chief Mark Souders Memorial Scholarship, mail tax-deductible gifts to:

Allison Nash
The State College of Florida Foundation Inc.
PO Box 1849
Bradenton, FL 34206.

For more information about the scholarship, call the SCF Foundation Inc. at 941-752-5390. Visit to learn more about SCF’s A.S. in Fire Science Technology Program and for more information about the B.A.S. in Public Safety Administration Program.

Souders Scholarship
Tim Hyden and Cassandra Holmes


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