Nursing students at Cumberland University now have a new opportunity for financial aid in the form of the Max & Ann Smith Nursing Scholarship.
Rick and Chip Smith of Smith Brothers Properties have donated $5,000 to the Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce, and the organization is matching that amount to create $10,000 in available funds. Individual awards will be based on need, with a minimum of $1,000 to be matched by Cumberland University.
The brothers named the scholarship in memory of their parents:, Max Smith, a local businessman and community leader, and Ann Smith, a mother and wife for 64 years.
"I've been in the hospital many times before, and I know who takes care of me," Rick Smith said. "It's the nurses. My niece Lindsay is a nursing graduate, and I know money is tight for a lot of those students."
Mary Bess Griffith, the dean of Cumberland University's Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing, said easing that financial burden could have widespread significance.
"This scholarship allows a
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student to come to school that might not be able to go otherwise," she said. "But it doesn't just impact that student. Every patient that person takes care of, and every family member, will feel that impact, and that's pretty profound."
The Smith brothers hope to see that impact felt year after year as the scholarship establishes itself. Funding will be awarded annually, so students who receive the scholarship one year will need to reapply for the next.
"It's almost an honor that we're able to do this," Rick Smith said. "Nurses are the foundation of our health care system, and we're happy to be able to help. This scholarship will go out every year for as long as we can write the checks."
Max & Ann Smith Nursing Scholarship requirements
• Recipients must be graduates of a Wilson County school entering or continuing upper division nursing
• Minimum ACT score of 20 or SAT score of 1060
• Minimum 3.0 GPA (through either transfer credits or Cumberland University credits)
• Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
• All requested information must be submitted to the Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce by 4 p.m. April 17.