William T. Blackburn, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship
To honor the memory of William T. Blackburn, Jr., Virginia Smith, widow of the deceased, has authorized this method of recognition of this extraordinary man, who died in July, 1986, of complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 36.
Mr. Blackburn was diagnosed with ALS in 1985. At the time of his illness he was a student at The Metropolitan State College of Denver (The Met) working towards a second bachelor’s degree. Mr. Blackburn and his family strongly felt that the majority of the emotional support received during his illness came from professional nurses and other allied health care workers.
Because of the tremendous support the family received from these professionals, Virginia Smith wanted to provide financial assistance to students who are especially interested in working with patients and families who are dealing with incurable illnesses. As an alumna of Metro State’s nursing program, she feels a strong commitment to helping nursing students obtain the baccalaureate level education they will need to provide the support that these families so desperately need.
• Be meeting MSU Denver’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements and cannot be in default or owe any refund/repayment of federal, state or institutional aid.
• Have a declared Nursing major enrolled in the Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Completion Program. If no student is available in that program, the recipient shall be enrolled in the Accelerated Nursing Program.
• Be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours during the semester(s) the award is received
• Have a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major
• Have completed 12 credit hours in nursing and support courses
• Have financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Scholarship Center. Students must complete the University Scholarship application.
• Perform 16 hours of community service and/or professional service volunteer activities per year during the duration of the scholarship. Recipient’s progress will be monitored by the Department of Nursing Scholarship Committee while receiving the scholarship.
First preference will be given to applicants who are considered to be pursuing a career working with the terminally ill (e.g. hospice, homecare, oncology.)
Second preference will be given to applicants who are considered to be pursuing a career working with neurologically permanently disabled clients (spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.)