The University of Wolverhampton has received its first overseas bursary donation from across the Atlantic.
Mary and Gary Rauchfuss, retired Army musicians from Williamsburg, Virginia in the United States of America, have set up a $25,000 Bursary in Nursing in memory of Mary’s mother who died in 2016. Students who are studying at the University can apply for the Joan Argyle Shambaugh Bursary in Nursing, helping towards hardship or support.
The family have long-standing 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.
Mary, who came to the UK recently to visit the University and meet staff from the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, 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. She used to love ‘Call the Midwife’ and always said she had wanted to be a nurse.
“We hope that this is the start of a long relationship with the University. We have really enjoyed our visit, meeting the staff and looking around the excellent facilities. 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: “It was a real pleasure to meet Mary and we were touched that she personally travelled all this way to meet us. 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.”
Joan worked as a librarian in America and was a Scout Leader for 20 years. She also volunteered at a nursing home.
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Date Issued: 25th October 2017