Daughters of the American Revolution Announce New Nursing Scholarships at the University of the District of Columbia

Daughters of the American Revolution Announce New Nursing Scholarships at the University of the District of Columbia

Daughters of the American Revolution Announce New Nursing Scholarships at the University of the District of Columbia

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) announces it has signed a gift agreement with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to fund two nursing scholarships that will be awarded annually. The scholarship will be named the DAR-Lena Ferguson Scholarship.

Each student will receive $5,000 split over two academic semesters. Recipients should have been accepted or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree nursing program at the University of the District of Columbia. Recipients must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent GPA on the scale used by the institution.

Recipients will be students who have graduated from a District of Columbia Public School or Public Charter School. UDC students can find more information about applying in the Scholarship Universe online portal.

To meet the demand for trained nurses, UDC facilitates successful degree completion for District residents through two rigorous and engaging professional education nursing programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN). Both programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

“This scholarship represents Ms. Lena Santos Ferguson’s trailblazing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and we are honored to be a part of her legacy. This scholarship embraces the notion that one person can make lasting and meaningful change in our society,” said Sharon Beasley, Ph.D., RN, CNE, NEA-BC, director of the UDC Nursing Program. “Likewise, the recipients of the Lena Santos Ferguson scholarship will have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of their patients, families, and communities. We are most grateful for DAR’s generous investment in our nursing students.”

The scholarship is named in honor of the late Lena Santos Ferguson, who was a DAR member instrumental in DAR establishing this scholarship in the 1980s as an outreach to people of color in the Washington, DC, community.

During the first 20 years of the scholarship’s inception until her passing, Mrs. Ferguson was personally involved in promoting it to the DC Public Schools and selecting and celebrating the student recipients every year.

“This nursing scholarship will enable graduates of DC Public Schools to gain access to a comprehensive and reputable UDC education that prepares them to deliver high-quality care to diverse populations. Our nursing program’s emphasis on cultural competence and community engagement ensures that students develop a deep understanding of the healthcare needs and challenges faced by the residents of the District of Columbia,” said Rodney Trapp, Executive Director of the UDC Foundation. “Moreover, the University’s strong partnerships with local healthcare institutions and location in the heart of the nation’s capital provide DAR-Lena Ferguson Scholars with unparalleled internships, externships, and employment opportunities. These connections enable students to establish valuable professional networks and secure rewarding positions in esteemed healthcare organizations within the District and beyond.”

The scholarships celebrate the life and legacy of DAR member Lena Santos Ferguson (1928-2004). Mrs. Ferguson was instrumental in creating changes within DAR to help the organization become more diverse, inclusive and supportive of its members of color.

DAR renamed the scholarship in 2023 as the DAR-Lena Ferguson Scholarship and increased the award to $5,000. Details regarding this scholarship can also be found at dar.org/DARLenaFergusonScholarship.

“DAR is proud to recognize Mrs. Ferguson’s legacy as a change-maker within our organization and to highlight her devotion to helping advance the lives of DC students through scholarships,” said DAR President General Pamela Wright. “We hope these scholarships will help nursing students reach their educational goals.”

A memorial plaque was unveiled and dedicated to recognize Mrs. Ferguson in the Memorial Garden at the DAR National Headquarters in Washington, DC, on Monday, June 26.