The University of Wolverhampton has announced that it has received its first overseas bursary donation, from a family in the US, which will go towards supporting a nursing student.
Mary and Gary Rauchfuss, from Williamsburg in Virginia, have set up a $25,000 – around £19,000 – Bursary in Nursing in memory of Mary’s mother who died in 2016.
“Our hope is that the bursary will help someone to fulfil their ambition to be a nurse”
Students who are studying at the university can apply for the Joan Argyle Shambaugh Bursary in Nursing, helping towards hardship or support.
The family has ties with the Black Country. Mary’s mother, Joan, was born in Warrington but her family moved to Wolverhampton when she was very young and lived in Tettenhall.
Joan met and married an American soldier who was stationed in England and they moved to America in 1947. They were married for 52 years.
Ms Rauchfuss came to the UK recently to visit the university and meet staff from its Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing,
She said: “My mother was born into a poor family in Wolverhampton and had five siblings. She wanted to be a nurse but the family didn’t have funds to send her to school.
“She passed away last year and we wanted to do something to remember her by. She was always so generous and was the first to give of herself so we thought that this would be an ideal way to honour her memory,” said Ms Rauchfuss.
University receives overseas donation to support students
She said her mother volunteered at a nursing home and was a Scout leader for 20 years.
She also noted that her mother loved the popular BBC TV programme Call the Midwife and had always said she had wanted to be a nurse.
“We hope that this is the start of a long relationship with the University,” said Ms Rauchfuss.
She added: “Our hope is that the bursary will help someone to fulfil their ambition to be a nurse – a wonderful way to remember my mother.”
Claire Norden, head of alumni and development at the university, said: “Donations of this kind really make a difference to people who have the ambition to achieve but maybe don’t have the means.
“We look forward to awarding one of our students with the bursary once the application process is complete,” she said.