BY KATIE MATTESON
The Nurses Foundation of Racine held its annual scholarship dinner at Infusino’s Banquet Hall on Wednesday, May 22 and awarded 16 scholarships totaling $25,500 to area nursing students from Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties.
Since NFR was established in 1983, the organization has awarded 385 scholarships totalling $492,150.
Its mission: “NFR believes that financial support of nursing education leads to an increased supply of qualified nurses for better community health, better patient care and more cost-effective care.”
Founding members of the group included president Terri Schwartz, treasurer Caroline Sullilvan and board members Mary Jane Bloom, Betty Canfield, Edith Isenberg, Carol Jacob and Jacqie Kovach.
Current president Mary Callahan, treasurer Sharon Johnson and scholarship committee chairwoman Della Alvarez credit the founders, along with then-St. Luke’s Hospital administrator Dr. Karl York and the Racine Medical Society for supporting the establishment of the organization. Other board members include: secretary Suzanne Cooper, Jan Behrens, historian Lynnette Ernst, vice president Rochelle Nelson, Susan Nosalik, Kathy Winnen and Tracy Dorlack. All board members are volunteers, both current and retired nurses.
Callahan said that funds for the first three $300 scholarships came from bake sales and donations from nurses and physicians.
Today, families fund most scholarships as memorial gifts in the name of a loved one, particularly if the loved one was a nurse. Organizations and corporations also sponsor scholarships.
Stories of current named memorial scholarships were included in the program book for the recent banquet, including:
Marjorie and Lewis McClellan Memorial Scholarship
“Majorie graduated from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1942. Lewis graduated from Marquette University in 1948. They both served in the Armed Forces during WWII and were married shortly after the war. Both grew up in Racine and returned after Lewis’ retirement in 1989. Through the years they kept ties with their nursing friends and families and cherished the association with the 42Bs. This scholarship was established in memory of Lewis and Marjorie McClellan and the men and women who fought and gave their lives in WWII, especially the class of St. Luke’s 42B.”
Mary Alice Petersen Memorial Scholarship
“Mary Alice Petersen practiced nursing in Racine for nearly five decades. She attended St. Luke’s School of Nursing, graduating in 1959. She later pursued a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education in 1990 and completed the Parish Nurse Program in 1994 at Marquette University. She began as an aide in 1956 and served as a nurse and nurse manager until 2000, when she formally retired from All Saints Health Care. However, she continued to work part time until 2007. Mary Alice was a quintessential caregiver, comforting and compassionately serving many throughout her career. She especially enjoyed working with and mentoring young nurses and nursing students. This scholarship allows Mary Alice’s commitment for care giving to continue through nursing students as they pursue a fulfilling career in nursing.”
Beverly and Dr. Myron Schuster Memorial Scholarship
“Beverly Schuster, RN, was born in Chicago, Ill. on March 6, 1918. She graduated from Mt. Sinai Nursing School in Milwaukee. She used her nursing skills in various formal and informal roles in Milwaukee and Racine. She had a passionate commitment to community health, racial equality, elimination of disparities in health care and was the founder of the ‘Future Nurses of Racine’ in the 1950s. Myron Schuster, MD was born in Milwaukee April 11, 1918. He attended Marquette University and graduated from Marquette Medical School at the age of 23 in 1941. After completing a residency in pathology, he practiced at St. Mary’s Hospital, which later became All Saints Hospital in Racine. He continued as Chief of Pathology for 44 years, retiring in 1974.”
Carol and John Francis Memorial Scholarship
“Carol Francis was a 1951 graduate of St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Racine. She worked full time on the surgical unit at St. Luke’s where she met her husband John. Later, while raising their family, she worked part time as Lincoln Lutheran Home. During retirement, she volunteered at Racine Skills Bank and was a member of the Retired and Involved Nurses Group (RING)…John graduated from Washington Park High School in 1941 and started working at Twin Disc Clutch Company, before enlisting in the United States Navy…After WWII, he returned to Twin Disc and worked as a toolmaker and then a tool designer for 40 years….At age 93, John spent his last weeks being cared for at Lakeshore Manor, and understood how great nursing care could make a difference in a patient’s life. Carol and John wanted this scholarship to assist nursing students who are dedicated to be the best in their field. Their three daughters are nurses.”
Mary Lou Goodspeed Memorial Scholarship
“Mary Lou graduated from Marquette University with a BSN degree and worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee. After moving to Racine, she became active in community activities including the Monument Square Art Fair, Racine’s Woman’s Club and PEO. She was a volunteer with St. Mary’s Auxiliary. This scholarship was established in her honor by her husband Ron and daughter Mary Sue Shannon following her death in 2002.”
Suzanne G. and Ronald E. Jones Memorial Scholarship
“Suzanne was born in Racine and graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing. She worked at St. Luke’s Hospital and Racine Medical Clinic. She was an active member of the St. Luke’s Alumni, the Kenosha/Racine Nurses Association and served on the board of the NFR. After she died in 1998 her husband Ron established this scholarship in her honor. Ron was a loyal contributor to many charitable causes in our community. He was Vice President of Manufacturing at Styberg, retiring at age 80. After Ron’s death in February 2013, the scholarship will live on as the Suzanne G. and Ronald E. Jones Memorial Scholarship.”
St. Luke’s Alumnae Scholarship
“St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing was founded in 1906 and educated 1,969 nurses by the time the school closed in 1986. The Alumni was organized to continue the camaraderie among the nurses that began in school. Since 1987 the Alumni Association has provided funds to administer nursing scholarships in their name.”
2019 scholarship award winners included:
- Kylee Ballard, Carroll University, St. Luke’s School of Nursing Alumni Scholarship
- Ani Buchaklain, Columbia University, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Megan Cisewski, UW-Parkside, Beverly and Dr. Myron Schuster Memorial Scholarship
- Ashley Coutts-Heaney, Herzing University, Suzanne and Ronald Jones Memorial Scholarship
- Margaret Ann Eis, Capella University, Mary Lou Goodspeed Memorial Scholarship
- Abigayle Gorjance, Northeast WI Technical College, Marjorie and Lewis McClellan Memorial Scholarship
- Sarah Hylinski, Chamberlain University, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Kylie Kamm, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Jessica Kope, Purdue University Global, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Michelle Lim, Marquette University, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Peighton Kelsy, Gateway Technical College, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Samantha Penzkowski, Carroll College, Mary Alice Peterson Memorial Scholarship
- Kaitlyn Simonsen, Waukesha Technical College, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Hannah Sorensen, UW-Parkside, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
- Makalia Strong, Alverno College, Carol and John Francis Memorial Scholarship
- Elizabeth Wilckens, UW-Milwaukee, Nurses Foundation of Racine Scholarship
Scholarship applications are available at nursesfoundationofracine.org and at schools of higher learning financial aid office. The application deadline is Feb. 28 of each year.
For information about how to donate to the general nursing scholarship fund and/or establish a named scholarship in remembrance of a special nurse or family member or would like to volunteer with the NFR, visit nursesfoundationofracine.org.