A variety of scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors from Marion High School and Marion Home School Assistance Program.
Scholarship applications are closed for 2023. Check back in late fall for next year’s application and deadline information.
Additional contributions to these scholarship funds are encouraged in any amount and may be made at any time. If you are interested in establishing your own scholarship fund, please visit Establish A Fund.
Darrell & 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.
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 Miller 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.
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”.
Morris F. Neighbor Scholarship
Morris Neighbor 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 honorable 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.
Ruth S. Henderson Memorial Scholarship
Ruth Henderson moved to Cedar Rapids, IA 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 Washington High School (Cedar Rapids) 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.
Rebecca Paulson Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was established to honor the memory of Rebecca Paulson. 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.
Dr. Robert D. Thurness Scholarship
Dr. Robert Thurness was known to thousands in the Marion/Cedar Rapids area most commonly 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.
Kelly Grishaber Memorial Scholarship
Kelly Grishaber 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.
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.
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.
Hapgood Family Scholarship
The Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association was formed in 1989 under the leadership of Greg Hapgood who always said he volunteered “because it needed done.” His family has come together to provide a scholarship for the class of 2023 as a family tribute. They would like to give current students the opportunity to achieve the goals of further education.
Duane Ockenfels Memorial Scholarship
Duane Ockenfels graduated from Marion High School in 1995. He was an above average middle school student getting mostly A’s and B’s. Then a close friend got an Apple II and he wanted one. His father challenged Duane, that if he got straight A’s 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 PC’s 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.
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, Iowa students. In 2016, the Lodge donated the funds to the Foundation to continue the legacy of giving started in 1971.
James & Teresa Conklin Soccer Scholarship
Jim and Teresa’s children graduated from Marion High School. Teresa is an employee of the district. Jim works at Collins Aerospace and was instrumental in starting the soccer program at Marion High School. They established this scholarship to commemorate their love of soccer.
Jason White Memorial Scholarship
An honor roll student and a 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 many sports, including track, baseball, basketball and football. His love for football and the respect from his teammates enabled him to play his senior year as a 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.
Joel Cox Memorial Scholarship
Joel Cox graduated from Marion High School in 1972 and completed Lineman School in Sheldon, Iowa. He worked 25 years at Linn County REC as a lineman and worked the remainder of his career as a lineman for Sheldon Line Construction before retiring in 2017. Between 2004 and 2016, Joel worked storm duty for 10 different hurricanes across the country including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. He loved being a lineman and helping people. He also enjoyed spending time at his cabin fishing and hunting. His grandchildren held a very special place in his heart. With Joel’s memorial donations, the Cox family would like to support a student interested in becoming a lineman or electrician.
Lowell Morgan Service & Character Scholarship
Lowell Morgan 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.
Michelle Fluckiger Niles Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was 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.
Justin Turner Memorial Scholarship
Justin Turner 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.
John Schlotterback Business Scholarship
John Schlotterback was a 1947 graduate of Marion High School. He participated in track, basketball, baseball and football while attending MHS, 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).
Mike McGrew Memorial Scholarship
Michael McGrew attended Marion schools from K-12th grade (’88). 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. This scholarship is for a hard working student who wants to achieve by furthering his or her education.
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.
Marion Firefighters Association Scholarship
The Marion Firefighters Association (MFFA) is an independent body of Volunteer and Career Firefighters that serve the City of Marion, Iowa and the Marion Township. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students in the community seeking a career path in Fire Science or EMT/Paramedic fields. In order to obtain careers in these fields, people are required to obtain many designations that can be costly. By providing such a scholarship, it is MFFA’s desire to encourage students to seek such a rewarding and needed career path for not only the Marion community but all communities.
Jeff Rehnstrom Memorial Scholarship
Jeffrey Alan Rehnstrom was a 1997 graduate. During his years at MHS, Jeff 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.
The Ratliff-Ames Scholarship honors the dedication and success 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 is a professor of higher mathematics at the University of Southern California, Riverside. Their younger cousin, Anne Ames, was a very talented graphic artist earning both state and national awards. To honor their commitment to education excellence, this scholarship is for Marion High School graduating seniors demonstrating motivation and a desire to succeed.