Contact: Jessica A. Smith,
Assistant Executive Director
(512) 334-5504 
[email protected]

For Immediate Release


AUSTIN, TEXAS, MARCH 12, 2018 – The Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Awards of Excellence Gold & Silver Scholarships. The scholarships provide assistance to students about to graduate from mortuary school and enter the funeral profession.

The OGR Foundation awards two scholarships each year to mortuary students based on strong academic performance, funeral service experience, and the strength of their essays which exemplifies a commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness, and dignity.

The 2018 Silver Award of Excellence recipient is Julia Prout of American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service who is committed to working for her family’s funeral home and becoming an instrument of change in funeral service. “I want to develop creative solutions that keep the profession moving forward … like raising awareness of natural burial and green funerals. This is an often overlooked way to engage a more socially-conscious and connected generation,” said Ms. Prout.  She is being awarded a $2,000 scholarship to help complete her studies.

The recipient of the 2018 Gold Award of Excellence is Martin Burks, IV of University of the District of Columbia, who demonstrated a strong commitment to integrity and the independent funeral home, both tenets of OGR.  “I aim to become a well-respected and trusted member of the community because of my integrity, professionalism, dedication, and commitment to ethics. This will set me apart as an independent service provider who works for the betterment of families,” said Mr. Burks. He will receive a $3,500 scholarship to help complete his studies.

Scholarships will be awarded at OGR’s Annual Conference & Solution Center in Savannah, GA on Thursday, April 5. “These students embody values and principles on which OGR is based. We are happy to be able to help mortuary students realize their goals, and I am sure they will make a wonderful addition to the field of funeral service. I congratulate them on winning these scholarships,” said Adam Martin, OGR Foundation president.

The mission of OGR’s charitable foundation is to fund, perform and/or support activities on behalf of the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR). Its six-member Board of Directors is responsible for identifying projects that advance the standards of funeral service or contribute to the compassionate care of individuals in need. Learn more at www.ogr.org/charitable-foundation.

About OGR
Founded in 1928, OGR is affiliated with independent funeral homes throughout North America and overseas that share common goals of exemplary service, uncompromising care and compassion to families in their time of need. For more information, visit www.ogr.org.

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