Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors from Marion High School and Marion Home School Assistance Program.

Each scholarship has unique requirements and eligibility as designated by the fund donor(s). The scholarship selection committee will determine which awards each applicant is eligible for. Applicants are NOT guaranteed to receive an award just by completing the application.

Scholarship applications are closed for 2024.

Check back in late fall for next year’s application and deadline information.

To prepare your application, you may use this 2024 application worksheet. (Some information may change for 2025 applications. An updated worksheet will be made available in late fall 2024.)

Application Worksheet

 

 

If you wish to contribute to any of these existing scholarship funds, please visit our Donate page  and note the scholarship’s name in the comments section. If you are interested in establishing your own scholarship fund, please visit Establish A Fund.

 

 

Darrell and Dorothy (Merritt) Fisher Scholarship

Dorothy (Merritt) Fisher graduated from Marion High School in 1959. She and her husband, Darrell established this fund to honor the academic achievement and hard work of Marion High School students recognizing that not all deserving students have the financial means to continue their education and that education is vitally important to future success.
Requirements: A graduating senior of Marion High School attending Kirkwood Community College. Preference given to students who have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA, shown excellent work ethic, and demonstrated financial need. Renewal requirements: Must maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA while attending Kirkwood. Must submit a transcript by June 15 following their first year at Kirkwood along with a brief letter describing their campus and/or community involvement.

David Cahalan Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Cahalan taught at MISD for more than 30 years, primarily in Industrial Arts. He loved Marion as a teacher and community member. He wanted to help all students find a love of learning. He was excited to share his knowledge with students young and old. Mr. Cahalan believed in his students even when they didn’t believe in themselves. He was a true champion for the underdog. He lived life by the Golden Rule and wanted to leave this place better than he found it. Mr. Cahalan led by example, he was kind to everyone he met, leaving a lasting impression. His family established this fund in his memory.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior who will be a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in Industrial Technology or studying a trade. Priority will be given to a student that wants to teach Industrial Tech.

Dennis "Barney" Trout Scholarship

Dennis graduated from Marion High School in 1966 as class vice president. He cherished his close friends, may he had known since he was a teen playing football, wrestling and running track. His commitment to the Marion community was well known. Dennis was an active school board member for Marion Independent Schools and was proud of his contributions to improve education and facilities. Dennis worked in the plumbing trade since 1966 and was an active member of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters UA Local 12.
Requirements: Applicants must be pursuing an apprenticeship with Plumbers & Pipefitters UA Local 125.

Dennis Burgess Memorial Scholarship

Dennis graduated from Marion High School in 1966 and was drafted by the U.S. Army to serve in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 after attending Mason City Junior College. Upon returning, he obtained his Associated Degree in Business from Kirkwood Community College. In 1974 he opened Denny's Muffler Center and would expand to open two additional automotive centers. He retired in 2007. Denny served on the Marion Foundation Board in 1999 and taught Junior Achievement at Marion High School for several years.
Requirements: A MHS graduating senior attending a 2- or 4-year college or university to pursue a trade. Candidates must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Dr. Robert L. Thurness Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Thurness was commonly known to those in the Marion/Cedar Rapids area as “Coach Thurny”. He and wife Carol have called Marion home for more than 40 years. Thurny was a husband, father, educator, coach, administrator, giver and friend. He held strong beliefs that through education, athletics and community involvement, anyone could improve not only their own life but those of others around them. He was well known for helping many, whether it was to get a job after school, start a business or find a place to live. Coach Thurny led Marion High School to their only Iowa State Championship in football in 1980. He and wife Carol worked hard to help establish the Marion Heritage Center and Museum. Thurny was the proud father of three children and extremely proud grandfather of eleven grandchildren.
Requirements: A MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending a 2- or 4-year college or university. Candidates must be in good standing with the MHS code of conduct and possess a desire to improve the lives of those around them through leadership, commitment, education and giving. Preference will be given to those who showed dedication by participating in at least one sport for all four years of high school.

Duane Ockenfels Memorial Scholarship

Duane graduated from Marion High School in 1995. He was an above average middle school student getting mostly As and Bs. Then a close friend got an Apple II and he wanted one. His father challenged Duane, that if he got straight As he would receive his own. He fell short in one subject with a high B. That was the last B he ever received! Duane got a PC when needed in high school. As soon as he got the Apple II he went to the library, got a book and started programing a game. Duane also enjoyed building PCs and playing video games, and loved playing board games. Despite his over 4.0 GPA, Duane was humble; willing to share his knowledge and help others.
Requirements: A MHS or MHSAP graduating senior with a minimum 3.25 GPA and attending Kirkwood Community College. Preference given to those with a minimum 3.5 GPA with junior and senior years weighted more heavily. Must have good character and a passion for at least one area of IT (extracurricular IT-related coursework or member of a programming club.) Preference given to those demonstrating financial need. Students with a disability encouraged to apply.

George, Gladys and Ruth Drips Endows Scholarship

Ruth Drips graduated from Marion High School in 1953, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1955 and the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Commerce in 1957. She worked in the office of Armstrongs department store in Cedar Rapids for 33 years. Ruth enjoyed reading, knitting, traveling, cooking and being with her relatives and friends. Her passion was showing American Saddlebred horses in shows and attending the World's Championship Horse Show.
Requirements: A graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2- or 4-year educational institution.

Gerald A. Senninger / Trojan Lodge #548 Scholarship

Gerald Senninger was a former Linn County Auditor and Lodge member. Upon his death, he left a trust fund to the Lodge to provide scholarships to Marion students. In 2016, the Lodge donated the funds to the Foundation to continue the legacy of giving which began in 1971.
Requirements: A graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution. Preference given to students demonstrating financial need.

Henry "Harry" Carson Endowed Scholarship

Henry graduated from Marion High School in 1976. He attended Oberlin College, Cornell College and the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He trained in Chicago and Kansas City. He earned four board certifications in pathology, including forensic pathology which he practiced in Eastern Iowa. Harry was widely published in medical journals with original research. He loved music, photography, poetry and cats.
Requirements: A graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution. Preference given to students who have shown aptitude in non-traditional measures.

James & Teresa Conklin Soccer Scholarship

Jim and Teresa’s children graduated from Marion High School. Jim was instrumental in starting the soccer program at Marion High School. They established this scholarship to commemorate their love of soccer.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution with preference given to applicants who have lettered in varsity soccer and have at least one 1st-Team award in soccer (state, conference or metro levels.)

Jason White Memorial Scholarship

An honor roll student and 1992 graduate of Marion High School, Jason “Jay” White was a member of the National Honor Society, the Thespian Club and SADD. Jay’s interest in foreign languages enabled him to receive the Fulbright Medal in French. Jay was involved in track, baseball, basketball and football. His love for football and the respect from his teammates enabled him to play his senior year as Varsity Football Captain. He loved weight lifting and spent many hours in the weight room with friends. Jay was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. By doing national commercials and print work, he was able to travel and meet many people. His love for the Marion community and his many friends made him appreciate the education he was able to gain throughout his years at the MISD.
Requirements: A graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2- or 4-year educational institution with preference given to students majoring in a foreign language.

Jeff Rehnstrom Memorial Scholarship

Jeffrey was a 1997 graduate. During his years at MHS, he participated in many activities with football being his favorite. Following high school, Jeff attended Kirkwood Community College where he was studying business at the time of his death. This scholarship was established by Jeff’s family.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending Kirkwood Community College. Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, superior community service involvement, and demonstrate financial need.

John Scarborough Miller Scholarship

The John Scarborough Miller Trust was established in 1974 by Inez S. Miller in memory of her son, John who died in 1945 while serving in World War II. John achieved the rank of Lieutenant and was a member of a B-29 flight crew. At the time of his death he was stationed in Saipan. John graduated MHS in 1941 and attended the University of Iowa for eighteen months prior to serving in the military. While he was in high school, John participated in band, glee club, chorus, and other music groups. He served on the staff of the VOX and the Quill. John was a member of Delta Sigma Delta and Zeta Mu Epsilon and served his community as a Gazette carrier.
Requirements: Graduating seniors of Marion High School that must also be a resident of the city of Marion. Must also be attending an accredited Iowa college or university.

John Schlotterback Memorial Business Scholarship

John was a 1947 graduate of Marion High School. He participated in track, basketball, baseball and football, earning a varsity letter in football his senior year. After graduating, John worked in sales for several local dairies. In 1967, he began a 45-year career as a realtor in Marion. This scholarship was established by his wife Marilyn and his children Lyn (MHS 1976), Lori (MHS 1977) and JD (MHS 1986).
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School who lettered in a varsity sport. Applicant must be attending a 4-year college or university to pursue a business-related degree.

Justin Turner Memorial Scholarship

Justin graduated from MHS is 1992. He ranked 4th in his class academically and was active in many school activities including Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), band, sports and National Honor Society. Justin was chosen for National Council on Youth Leadership and was in Who’s Who Among American High School Students for three years. He was a Business Horizons graduate and also went to the Soviet Union with his Russian class. Justin was an Eagle Scout with 52 merit badges and all 3 palms. He attended Brigham Young University and was majoring in International Business and Russian. He was serving a 2-year mission in Chile for the LDS Church when he died of heart arrhythmia on February 21, 1994. Justin is remembered for his zest for life, sense of humor, love of adventure and positive outlook.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 4-year college or university with preference given to those demonstrating interest in foreign language or business.

Kelly Grishaber Memorial Scholarship

Kelly was completing her freshman year at MHS in the spring of 1979 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. For the next two years she courageously battled this illness while continuing to attend classes and school activities, always with the positive attitude that she would overcome her illness. Kelly is remembered for her enthusiastic participation in and total devotion to the cheerleading squad, highlighted by the MHS football class 3A 1980 State Championship. Kelly succumbed to leukemia on May 9, 1981. Her family and friends learned much from her positive attitude toward life, her joyous creativity and most of all, her courage in facing her terminal illness.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2- or 4-year college or university who exhibits good character and a positive attitude. Applicant must demonstrate involvement in co-curricular activities and/or community service.

Lowell Morgan Service & Character Scholarship

Lowell served as principal of Marion High School from 1965-1977 and continued his career as a junior high teacher until his retirement. He is quoted in a yearbook as saying, “It is my sincere hope that Marion Public Schools have helped to create in each graduating senior an open mind, a zeal for learning, and earnest quest for truth.” This scholarship is offered in honor of Lowell Morgan’s humanity, commitment to community, and love of youth.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution who has participated in exemplary acts of volunteer service and has demonstrated uncommonly positive character. Preference will be given to students who achieved Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts or Gold Award rank in the Girl Scouts, or church choir members and related activities.

Marion Firefighters Association Scholarship

The Marion Firefighters Association (MFFA) is an independent body of Volunteer and Career Firefighters that serve the City of Marion and Marion Township. Designations are required in order to obtain careers in Fire Science or EMT/Paramedic fields. By providing this scholarship, MFFA hopes to encourage students to seek such a rewarding career path.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior with a minimum 2.0 GPA pursuing a degree in Fire Science or EMT/Paramedic fields. If there is no such applicant, a student pursuing a career in the healthcare field may be considered.

Michelle Fluckiger Niles Memorial Scholarship

Established in 2009 by Michelle’s husband, John Niles and their daughters, Kelsey and Lindsey. Michelle graduated from Marion High School in 1977 and Kirkwood Community College in 1979. For 28 years, Michelle was a Dental Technician at Tyler, Berkhof and Link Dental Office in Cedar Rapids. Michelle passed away from injuries suffered in an automobile accident on March 26, 2007.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School attending an accredited dental program with the intention of becoming a dentist, dental hygienist or dental technician. If there is no such applicant, a student pursuing a career in the healthcare field may be considered.

Mike McGrew Memorial Scholarship

Michael attended Marion schools from K-12th grade, graduating in 1988. He was a member of the basketball team, golf team and video club. Michael was also active in the Marion YMCA where he enjoyed working with younger children. He was working in Lawrenceville, Georgia when he died following injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Michael will be remembered as fun loving, strong-minded and a sensitive, loving son and brother who loved people and the outdoors.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School who is hard working and attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution. Preference given to students who have overcome a disability during the course of their education.

Morgan (Kelley) Blomme Memorial Scholarship

Morgan attended Marion Independent Schools from K-12. She was an honor student and involved in many activities. After her graduation in 2003, Morgan knew she wanted to further her education in a career that would involve helping others. A few years after graduating from UNI with a degree in Athletic Training, she decided to go to Mt. Mercy to pursue a career in elementary education. This proved to be her true calling. She had a passion for helping each of her students reach their highest potential with their education and feel equal and valued as a person. Morgan passed away in August 2022 at the age of 37 after a 15-month battle with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Her family offers this scholarship in memory of Morgan’s love of education and passion to help others.
Requirements: Marion High School graduating senior pursuing health care or education.

Morris F. Neighbor Scholarship

Morris was born March 18, 1918 in LaFayette, Iowa. He graduated from Alburnett High School in 1935 and attended Banking School at Coe College, Iowa State University and University of Wisconsin. After graduation, Morris operated a grocery and egg buying business from his father’s general store in LaFayette. In 1941 he married Betty Lucille Oliphant and that same year joined the U.S. Army serving in Europe under General Patton. Morris was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star. In 1945 after being honorably discharged, Morris joined Farmers State Bank as a teller. He advanced to President in 1968 when he purchased controlling interest in FSB. Morris helped FSB grow its assets from $2 million in 1945 to over $845 million today. His civic pride is evidenced by numerous volunteer duties including past president of the Marion YMCA, Chairman of the YMCA Metropolitan Board of Trustees, treasurer for the Marion Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Marion American Legion Post 298, Marion Trojan Lodge 548, Granger House, Alburnett Christian Church and numerous service clubs. There have also been various annual gifts to many area schools in the community including the Marion Independent School Foundation. His strong sense of community can be easily traced to the belief that it’s important to give back to the communities in which we live and work.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior who is hard working and is attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution. Applicant's eligibility will be based on academic performance, extracurricular and civic involvement, and financial need.

Ratliff-Ames Scholarship

The Ratliff-Ames Scholarship honors the dedication, success, and commitment to education excellence of Dr. Dorothy Jean Ratliff (MHS 1944), her brother, Dr. Jack Ratliff (MHS 1948) and their younger cousin, Anne Christine Ames (MHS 1979). Dr. Dorothy Ratliff was an instructor of Advanced English and Creative Writing at Virgil Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama; and Dr. Jack Ratliff was a professor of higher mathematics at the University of Southern California, Riverside. Their younger cousin, Anne Ames, was a talented graphic artist earning both state and national awards.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending a 4-year college or university. One scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing each of the following fields: English, creative writing, advanced math and graphic arts.

Rebecca Paulson Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca taught at Starry Elementary for many years and her passion was helping her students achieve their goals. She had a positive influence on her students, their parents, and her peers in education through kindness, commitment and a desire to always improve.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School pursuing a degree in education.

Ruth S. Henderson Memorial Scholarship

Ruth Henderson moved to Cedar Rapids in 1964 with a Business and Commerce degree from Bucknell University. With her three children in school, Ruth went back to college to earn her teaching certificate. After student teaching at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, Ruth went on to teach business and later computer classes at Marion High School for 20 years. She was engaged with her students as a teacher and mentor, and made life-long friendships with her fellow teachers. Her family established this fund in recognition of her service to Marion High School.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending a 2-year, vocational, or 4-year educational institution, who has an above average GPA, participated in extra-curricular activities at Marion High School, been involved in community service, and demonstrates financial need.

Soccer Officiating Scholarship

Recognizes and celebrates the dedication, service and contribution that referees make so youth can play the sport they love. Referees ensure a safe, fair and fun competition for participants. Recipients of this scholarship have learned leadership, how to operate under pressure, and to demonstrate a commitment to service above themselves. This award is funded by the Dan Tuuri family, local soccer coach and referee, in honor and appreciation of all youth referees who serve the game.
Requirements: MHS or MHSAP graduating senior attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution with recent experience (within the past year) as an AYSO, NFHS or US Soccer Referee. Preference given to those with experience mentoring or developing other officials, or working/traveling to out-of-area (state cup, etc.) tournaments.

Todd Little Memorial Scholarship

Todd Little was a senior at MHS when he died of sudden heart failure on April 21, 1999. Todd was a member of SODA, Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), and Take Charge and Win With Wellness. He was a leader in track, baseball, football and basketball and was the 1998 Homecoming King. Todd received 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Metro honors in football, 2nd Team All-Conference and All-Metro Honorable mention in basketball. Coaching for Unified Sports was one way Todd worked with younger children. His family offers this scholarship in Todd’s memory.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School with a minimum 2.5 GPA, involvement in athletics and community service, and demonstrates financial need.

Veda Pollock Moore Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Mrs. Moore. Veda Pollock graduated from Marion High School in 1950. She married Keith Moore shortly after and moved around the country as he was a store manager for JC Penney. The Moore’s had 2 children, a son currently in California and a daughter in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Mrs. Moore wanted to establish a permanent scholarship purely out of her love for the Marion Independent School District. As she says, “The Marion High School class of 1950 was absolutely wonderful”.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School demonstrating excellent academic performance, extracurricular involvement, civic involvement and financial need. Renewal requirements: Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA and submit a transcript by June 15 each year along with a brief letter describing their campus and/or community involvement.

West Family Scholarships

The West family had four students who graduated from MISD; Dale ‘80, Connie ‘81, Kathryn ‘87 and Julie ‘90. All of them had the opportunity to complete education beyond high school. Joan West and her family are all vested in education whether it is to pursue a trade, attend a two or four-year college or another form of education. Three of Joan’s granddaughters also graduated from MISD and completed 4-6 year degrees. The West family believes MISD gave all of them a firm foundation on which to achieve goals. They would like to give current students the opportunity to achieve the goals of further education.
Requirements: Graduating senior of Marion High School attending a 2-year, vocational or 4-year educational institution. One scholarship will be awarded to a first-generation college student, someone whose parents did not attend education beyond high school. The second scholarship will be awarded to a student of color, disability, LGBTQ+ of of a minimized ethnic or cultural identity including but not limited to an English language learner.