Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program

The OGR Foundation demonstrates its support of the next generation of funeral home professionals by offering scholarships to students nearing completion of their mortuary science degree. The Foundation is proud to support the next generation of funeral professionals by awarding annual scholarships totaling $10,000.

Our scholarship application is currently closed. We will reopen the process on November 1, 2024. Students will have until December 31, 2024, to submit their applications. To apply in November, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a mortuary science degree program.
  • Be scheduled to graduate during the 2025 calendar year.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Be involved in the community and school activities.
  • Demonstrate excellence in the pursuit of knowledge in mortuary science.
  • Commit to working for an independently owned funeral home.
  • Provide a 2023 transcript.
  • The top five applicants will be interviewed by members of the Foundation Board to determine the first-place recipient. 

2023 Scholarship Winners

Gold Award of Excellence ($3,500)

Peyton Nash
Worsham College of Mortuary Science

"To guide and help people during one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives is something I feel chosen and compelled to do. I am proud to take responsibility for providing a service to care for others with the promise to fulfill their needs so that they can have one less worry in their life. I have a genuine drive and passion for helping the bereaved individuals and families find peace in the passing of their loved ones."


Silver Award of Excellence ($2,000 each)

Ann Kaufman
Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service

"Working for an independent funeral home has always been a career path and profession I have strived to follow. For nearly 30 years, my family has owned an independent funeral home and I have seen first-hand the impact it has had on our community."


Jacqueline Brock Brauch
American Academy McAllister Institute

"Growing up in the apartment above the funeral home, I watched my grandfather, father and bother work tirelessly to serve our community. The dedication and commitment they have exuded to our family and the families they serve makes me enormously proud. I am excited to become part of the next generation of funeral directors that holds itself to a higher standard of care."



Bronze Awards of Excellence ($1,000 each)

Scott Runyan
Des Moines Area Community College




Molly Smith
Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science





Award of Excellence ($500)

Nia Collins
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science





altSupport OGR's Charitable Foundation

Through the Order of the Golden Rule Foundation, the Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program recognizes promising mortuary science students who have demonstrated a passion for, and an understanding of the skills and commitment needed to provide families with meaningful funeral ceremonies.

The Foundation scholarships are made possible through generous contributions from businesses, vendors and individuals supporting the OGR Foundation. Contributions in support of the OGR Foundation have the option of being made in someone's memory or in honor of a special event. Contributions are acknowledged in The Independent as they are received. All donations are tax deductible in the United States as charitable contributions under IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3).

To donate online, click here or contact the Foundation at [email protected] or (800) 637-8030.