The family of the late UNC Charlotte School of Nursing alumna Mary Gwen Schaffernoth has endowed a scholarship in her memory. Established by a $28,000 donation by Mary Gwen’s husband, Chas, the Mary Gwen Robins Schaffernoth Nursing Scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students pursuing a nursing degree.
Mary Gwen was a practicing nurse for 13 years before stepping away to raise the couple’s five children in 1995, returning to nursing in the early 2000s. She was active with the Order of the Daughters of the Holy Cross, a Christian prayer and outreach organization. Mary Gwen participated in mission work in Africa with The Branches of the Vine, a medical mission organization. She passed away unexpectedly in February 2014 at the age of 56.
“Mary Gwen was a passionate student who loved nursing because she cared for people in many ways,” Chas Schaffernoth said. “She would not only look after those in her care, she would encourage them with her bright smile, a kind word and a quiet prayer. My prayer is that future nursing students are inspired by her heart and passion and put forth an excellent effort to become the best nurse that they can be!”
The scholarship will have a significant impact for the College of Health and Human Services, where three out of four students qualify for need based federal aid.
“For many of our students, the availability of scholarships determines whether or not they can afford school, said CHHS Dean Nancy Fey-Yensan. “The Schaffernoth family's generosity will make a difference for both the next generation of nursing professionals, and the thousands of patients they treat over their careers. We could not be more grateful.”
Chas Schaffernoth played college golf at the University of Florida and later at UNC Charlotte, where he and Mary Gwen met. He is currently a Vice President for Grocery Retail Sales with Perdue Farms, Inc.
Nursing students will be eligible for the Mary Gwen Robins Schaffernoth Nursing Scholarship in the 2018-219 academic year. Following the initial donation, UNC Charlotte has received more than $4,800 in additional contributions supporting the scholarship.