Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program

OGR demonstrates its support of the next generation of funeral home employees and owners by offering scholarships to students nearing completion of their mortuary science degree and about to enter the funeral profession.

Our 2022 application period is NOW OPEN!



Applicant Eligibility

  • be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited mortuary science school or college
  • be scheduled to graduate in the 2022 calendar year
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • submit an essay on your commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity

Winners are chosen based on strong academic performance, community involvement and the strength of your essay.

Scholarship Levels

This year, we have significantly increased the number of winners who will be selected:

  • one (1) Gold Award of Excellence valued at $3,500, plus a complimentary registration for OGR's Annual Conference May 15 - 17, 2022 at the Hotel Carmichael in Indianapolis, including travel and up to three nights of accommodations (up to $1,700 of additional value)
  • one (1) Silver Award of Excellence valued at $2,500
  • two (2) Bronze Awards of Excellence valued at $1,000 each
  • five (5) OGR Awards of Excellence valued at $500 each

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 15, 2022.


 


2021 Scholarship Winners

Gold Award of Excellence

Mariah Banks
$3,500 Scholarship
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science

"I personally feel like an independently owned funeral home is more in-tune with the community they serve," Mariah said in her application. "Being from a small town, I know a lot of the families in my community that I would be helping during their time of need. To work for an independently-owned funeral home would be more beneficial to my future career goals and would allow me to truly connect to my community, provide excellent service, and make a true difference in others lives."

Personal Essay

I would like to pass on the trust and compassion showed to families in my community previously by Ms. Pauline H. Gordon. Ms. Gordon's business was the only minority-run funeral home in my area during her time. It still has the reputation of being the best, long after her passing and closing in 2003. Money was not her concern, but instead, she cared about those who lost. I want to be that kind of person and own a business that cares about the pain of others.

I aspire to one day operate my own business in an elegant and impressive manner. As an individual and professional in my community, I aspire to incorporate excellence, trust, care, originality, and growth into my daily life. I want to advance your average funeral service, to a level far beyond your standard amenity. I believe that everyone deserves personal service of the highest quality.

Silver Award of Excellence

Kenneth Wortman
$2,000 Scholarship 
Fayetteville Technical Community College

"I feel that the massive corporations that have taken over individual funeral homes are doing a disservice to the community we serve," Kenneth said of the importance of independent operations. "The families we serve are not cattle, and shouldn't be herded in and out for maximized profit with minimal interaction."

Personal Essay

I hope to make a difference in the funeral industry, and restore the trust that has been lost. Funerals have been overpriced for years, which has lead to the rise of cremation. I want to make funerals affordable again, offer old and new methods of disposition, and offer restorative reconstruction.

I want to truly pour my heart and work into the community, and provide options that aren't typically available. I have always stood behind my reputation and work ethic, and I believe that I can change the view on the funeral industry over my career, not just locally, but nationally.

I hope to achieve leaving a legacy of trust, hard work ethic, and a morally sound business for my children, that the community can rally behind.


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. In 2022, the Foundation will offer nine scholarships:

  • one (1) Gold Award of Excellence valued at $3,500, plus a complimentary registration for OGR's Annual Conference May 15 - 17, 2022 at the Hotel Carmichael in Indianapolis, including travel and up to three nights of accommodations (up to $1,700 of additional value)
  • one (1) Silver Award of Excellence valued at $2,500
  • two (2) Bronze Awards of Excellence valued at $1,000 each
  • five (5) OGR Awards of Excellence valued at $500 each

These scholarships are only made possible by the 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 Education Department at (800) 637-8030.