Students, benefactors of Burke Scholars program recognized

Published: Monday, November 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM.

NICEVILLE — The recent Northwest Florida State College annual Burke Scholars recognition ceremony brought together 2012-13 Kelly and Denny Burke Family Scholarship and Patricia Burke Ackal Nursing Scholarship recipients with their benefactors.

At just more than $1 million in value, the Burke family endowment is the second largest scholarship endowment in the college’s history. The endowment’s earnings provided 23 scholarship awards at $1,000 each for the 2012-13 academic year. The Burke family started the first scholarship fund in 1993 with an initial gift of $60,000.

2012-13 Burke Scholars include Danika Almaguer of Hurlburt Field; Johnny Almaguer of Hurlburt Field; Jenny Armstrong of Destin; Shelby Fike of Mary Esther; Anna Kiss of Fort Walton; Rebecca McNamara of Niceville; Jennifer Muscato of Mary Esther; Matthew North of Eglin AFB; Matthew Palmer of Fort Walton; and Mary Swisher of Fort Walton Beach.

2012-13 Patricia Burke Ackal Scholars include Dorothy Alaniz of Shalimar; Amber Crouch of Fort Walton; Tabitha Funk of Fort Walton; Joana Marry Hiltl of Navarre; Rose Leno of Crestview; Linda Moore of Fort Walton; Tyra Ricci of Miramar Beach; Steven Santee of Fort Walton; Tanya Simon of Crestview; Brittney Sims of Fort Walton; and Laura Van Epps of Niceville.

The family scholarship funds primarily nontraditional students, with military members and their spouses being preferred recipients. A second fund, the Patricia Burke Ackal Nursing Scholarship, honors the memory of Burke’s daughter, who died at 49 after fighting a long battle against cancer, and assists students in the college’s Nursing program.

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