Scholarship Winners Announced

The Order of the Golden Rule Foundation has granted scholarships to six graduating students as part of its 2023 Awards of Excellence scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded each year to mortuary students based on strong academic performance, community involvement and an essay exemplifying a commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity.

The 2023 Gold Award of Excellence recipient is Peyton Nash who graduated in March from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Peyton lives in Willowbrook, Illinois and has “a genuine drive and passion for helping bereaved individuals and families find peace in the passing of their loved ones.” Peyton was awarded $3,500 to assist her as she enters the funeral profession post-graduation.

Peyton says “to guide and help people during one of their 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.” 

Ann Kaufman of the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston, Texas and Jacqueline Brock of the American Academy McAllister Institute in New York, New York were both awarded the Silver Award of Excellence, each worth $2,000. Ann is currently working as chief of staff at the US House of Representatives and will graduate in June. Jacqueline works as an administrative assistant at Vander Plaat Funeral Home of Wyckoff and graduates in August.

The foundation also gave away two Bronze-level scholarships worth $1,000 each to Scott Runyon of Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa and Molly Smith of Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Cincinnati, Ohio. The foundation was also pleased to award a $500 scholarship to Nia Collins of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science who graduates in June.    

Scholarship recipients will be recognized at OGR’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis during the Golden Circle Celebration Dinner on May 3.

“Peyton, Anna, Jacqueline and all of our scholarship recipients each exemplify the heart for personal service that OGR stands for, and we are excited to welcome them into our profession,” said Kim Hunter, chair of the OGR Foundation.

Scholarships are funded by donations to the OGR Foundation, the charitable arm of the Order of the Golden Rule and a registered nonprofit under IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3). Its mission is to fund, perform and/or support activities on behalf of OGR that advance the standards of funeral service or contribute to the compassionate care of individuals in need.  Learn more and make your tax-deductible donation at

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