Because Nurses Make The Difference

Because Nurses Make The Difference

A New Scholarship to Support Nursing Students

The F.A. Mason Penwell Scholarship will help future nurses reach their career goals thanks to the generosity of Mark and Jean Penwell. The first two scholarships will be awarded this year to Lake Michigan College nursing students. 
 
“We have all been impacted by nurses,” Mark said. “They touch people’s lives at such a vulnerable time. They are the people we see every day. They play such an important role - hospitals, home care, traveling nurses - and we want to contribute to that.”
 
The scholarship is named for Mark’s mother, Frances Abbie Mason Penwell who was an artist and a teacher. “She believed in the professions, getting a good education, and being well-rounded” Mark said.  
 
Jean’s mom had always wanted to be a nurse. But, in the early 1940’s she was forced to leave school with just three months to go when the administration discovered she was married. “You couldn’t be married and be a nurse or a teacher at that time,” Jean said. “My mom always held nurses in such high regard.” 
 
Jean and Mark, both Whirlpool retirees, have lived in St. Joseph for most of their lives and are thrilled to be able to give something back. “We can do something here because we have a local college with great expertise and we have Lakeland that needs even more great nurses,” Mark said. “We are just glad to be able to pay it forward to the next generation.”
 
“And we are happy to know we can hand it off to Berrien Community Foundation and know it is all taken care of and will continue on,” Jean added.
 
The F.A. Mason Penwell Scholarship will award two $1,500 scholarships each year to students enrolled or accepted at Lake Michigan College’s nursing program. The students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher for the most recent three semesters and demonstrate financial need. The application is available at the Berrien Community Foundation website at www.berriencommunity.org/scholar.
 
 

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