Brookfield, Wis. – Underscoring its commitment to make education accessible to funeral service students and professionals, the Funeral Service Foundation is now accepting applications for academic scholarships as well as Certified Celebrant Training scholarships in partnership with NFDA and InSight Institute.
“Education is at the heart of our mission of investing in people and programs to strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities,” said 2022-23 Foundation Chair Lisa Baue. “From supporting students pursuing first or next careers in funeral service, to offering all-inclusive scholarships to some of the profession’s most dynamic and energizing conferences, we’re here to support funeral service professionals throughout their careers.”
Named Academic Scholarships
Now through April 16, current students of funeral service and military veterans may apply for an academic scholarship at FuneralServiceFoundation.org. Scholarships are open to full- or part-time students in who are in good standing and enrolled in ABFSE- or Canadian-accredited institutions/programs. Candidates must be attending classes and actively pursuing a degree in funeral service at the time of application. Students who are enrolled but have not yet begun coursework at the time of application are not yet eligible to apply for these scholarships.
Up to 24 scholarships ranging from $2,500-$5,000 USD are available. Winners will be announced in early May. An additional 24 scholarships will be available this fall.
The Foundation offered its first named academic scholarship, the Joseph E. Hagan Memorial Scholarship in 2001. In the two decades since, additional scholarships were established in memory of Shipley Rose Buckner, Steve Mack, and Dennis Schoepp; and in honor of Steve Lang and Bob Horn. Memorial Classic Scholarships are funded by tournament proceeds from the annual golf event, and Foundation ’45 Scholarships are awarded in recognition of the Foundation’s founding year, 1945. Additional named scholarships are available to military veterans including the Hunter M. Harbeson scholarship and the Journey to Serve scholarship, which is offered in partnership with the ICCFA Educational Foundation.
“The Foundation’s named academic scholarships celebrate the legacies and achievements of extraordinary funeral service professionals and their families, while recognizing the profession’s next generation of visionaries and leaders,” said Baue. “In many cases, award recipients become connected with the donors who established the scholarships. And thanks to generous donor support, we will be able to connect even more deserving students to donors who established named scholarships in tribute to some of the profession’s finest.”
Eight of this spring’s academic scholarship winners will be the first receive the Foundation’s newly established named scholarships:
John Carmon Scholarship
Named in honor of Foundation Past Chair and NFDA Past President John Carmon, who was awarded the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 2022. Mr. Carmon was instrumental in growing the Foundation’s endowment. The scholarship is funded by gifts made Mr. Carmon’s honor.
CANA/Jack Springer Scholarship
Named in memory of Jack Springer who served many years as the executive director of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA). The gift is funded through a generous gift from CANA.
Funeral Directors Life Memorial Scholarship
The Funeral Directors Life Memorial Scholarship honors the memories of funeral service professionals who were instrumental in the founding and growth of Funeral Directors Life. The endowed scholarship is funded by a generous gift from Funeral Directors Life.
Mark Hornibrook & Harry Pontone Memorial Scholarships
Named in memory of Mark Hornibrook and Harry Pontone, the scholarships honor their legacies and enduring connection to the funeral service profession, while helping students be the best they can be. The scholarships are made possible through a generous gift from National Guardian Life. Four memorial scholarships will be awarded this spring.
Louis Pontone Scholarship
Named in memory of Louis Pontone, father of Foundation Trustee Thomas Pontone. Mr. Louis Pontone and his brothers helped expand the family’s casket company to serve all 50 states. The scholarship is funded through a generous gift from Thomas Pontone.
Certified Celebrant Training Scholarships
Ten scholarships are available to those who are verifiably affiliated with at least one funeral home and are interested in becoming a Certified Celebrant. Offered by InSight Institute, and presented by Glenda Stansbury and Matt Bailey, scholarships are solely available for the seminar held June 7-9 at the NFDA headquarters in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Valued at up to $2,000, scholarships cover registration fees, two nights of hotel accommodations, and up to $500 in travel reimbursement. Registration for the seminar opens April 7.
Using a common application format, all scholarship candidates are required to answer five questions in no more than 250 words per question, and submit a brief video, no longer than two minutes. Additional support materials, which vary by scholarship, must also be submitted by the April 16 deadline. Late applications are not accepted. Winners will be announced in early May.