Phyllis Albrecht Nursing Scholarship
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Petra Roter (left) and scholarship donor Roger Able (far right) present Caitlin Schara the Phyllis Albrecht Nursing Scholarship.
In 1998, Albrecht was awarded the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, an award created by the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing to honor outstanding nurses in Wisconsin.
Albrecht died in 2002, following a long battle with cancer. Her final weeks were spent in the loving care of her fellow nurses, who, in their sadness, nevertheless appreciated the opportunity to give back to the friend and colleague who had given unselfishly so much of herself over the years.
Roger Able was president and CEO of Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh (which includes Bethel Home) when Phyllis was a nurse at the facility. He and his wife, Marie, created a nursing scholarship in Albrecht’s memory to honor her years of giving to others. Able explains, “We strongly believe if a student nurse needs financial help to reach their goal we in some small way should try to help, and to do this in Phyllis’ name makes it even more meaningful.”
The couple had previous ties to the University—Roger served on the College of Business Advisory Board and the College of Nursing Board of Visitors. Marie graduated from UWO in 1985 with an MBA degree.
The scholarship seeks to help nursing students with “significant need” and has been awarded nine times so far. Roger Able has traveled from both California and Florida to present the scholarship at the University’s spring Honors and Awards Ceremony. He has gone to such lengths because he says, “The cause is significant. The need for nurses is tremendous.” Most importantly, he welcomes the opportunity to share Phyllis Albrecht’s story with the scholarship recipients.
The Ables' relationship with Albrecht likely played a role in Marie's career change at age 50. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of South Florida in 2006 and her MSN degree in 2011. And so Phyllis Albrecht continues to inspire—her friends, former colleagues and aspiring nursing students.