Clarence and Dorothy Gerard Scholarship for Nursing

Annual renewable scholarship created by the estate of John Gerard in honor of his parents. The scholarship will provide educational support to a graduate of a Posey, Vanderburgh, or Warrick County high school to pursue a nursing degree at a college or university in Southwestern Indiana.

Born in 1915, Dorothy Willett studied nursing and graduated in 1936 from St. Mary’s Hospital Nursing School where she became the first surgical nurse assisting in cataract surgery.  Her career continued as a nurse for Republic Aviation factory in Evansville, Indiana, which churned out thousands of P-47 Thunderbolts during World War II.  In 1947, she met and married Clarence Gerard who served in the Navy.

Soon they began a family, welcoming sons Steve and John.  As they came of age, Steve and John joined the family business, the Old Country School Restaurant, working together with their parents until its closing in 1987.  Steve continued in restaurant management and John went on to work in the clerk and assessor’s offices until his retirement.

After Clarence’s death in 1985, John lived and traveled with Dorothy, and they attended musical performances and the theater until her passing at age 97 in 2012.  Later, John and his husband, Don Settle, enjoyed exploring historical sights and experiencing the arts up to Don’s death in 2017.

John passed away in 2018.  It was his greatest honor to memorialize his parents, Clarence and Dorothy Gerard, with a nursing scholarship endowment to continue his mother’s legacy of care for generations now and in the future.

Eligibility Criteria

Graduating seniors of any high school located in Posey, Vanderburgh, or Warrick counties with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale) and who are planning to pursue a nursing degree at an accredited college, university, or technical/vocational school within the counties served by the Community Foundation Alliance (Daviess, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer Vanderburgh, and Warrick). Recipients of the scholarship must attend a college, university, or technical/vocational school located in one of these counties.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on the strength of the student’s essay (45%), involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and/or work experience (45%), and financial need (10%).

Supplemental Requirements

  • Essay describing why the applicant wants to pursue a career in nursing (minimum one-page, not to exceed two pages, double spaced).
  • Completion of the “FAFSA” or “FAFSA4caster.”
  • Official grade transcript.

Award Amount


Application Deadline

February 20, 2021

Application Access Code


Renewal Details

May be renewable for up to four consecutive years provided the recipient continues to pursue a nursing degree and remains in good standing with the college and pre-nursing/nursing program. Renewal award amounts may differ from the original award.

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