The William W. and Loretta C. Richardson Scholarship Foundation has found a new home with the Chipola College Foundation.

The contribution of $113,462 will help Chipola Nursing, EMT, and Paramedic students for many years to come and the first scholarship is to be awarded for the fall 2020 term. The annual award of $2,500 is to be divided evenly between the recipient’s fall and spring semesters.

Applications have already been received for this year. The next scholarship application period will be for the fall 2021 term.

Even though the Chipola Foundation is now overseeing the scholarship awards, the original criteria for recipients remain intact. Funds are to be used for tuition and/or books and the recipient must be a high school graduate and maintain a 2.5 GPA each semester. Each applicant must be already be enrolled in, or accepted into; the Chipola Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) program, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or the Paramedic program. If a recipient changes major, then the recipient will not receive the scholarship the following semester. In addition, applicants must live within a 150 mile radius of Graceville, Fl. and have a proven record of outstanding leadership ability, academic achievement, and be of high moral standards, all of which must be outlined in the student’s application letter. The Chipola College Foundation Scholarship Committee will review applications annually, determine the application deadline, and select a worthy recipient.

While Dr. Richardson’s primary practice was in Graceville, he treated patients from all over the tri-county area and often made house calls to those too sick to travel. In an effort to say “thank you,” friends, patients, and relatives of “Doc and Loretta,” established the Richardson Scholarship on Sept. 23, 1986, as a way to honor many years of devotion to the health and well-being of the citizens of Graceville and surrounding communities.

The first scholarship was awarded to Bobby “Bo” Michael Devane from Northview High School in Dothan, Alabama. Bobby enrolled in medical studies at Birmingham-Southern College. He received a Doctor of Pharmacy and practiced in the Dothan area.

The original intent of the Scholarship Foundation was to encourage local students to pursue a medical-related education and to encourage them to possibly return and practice in the tri-county area. One example of success is Dr. J.D. Byrd, who received more than one scholarship from the Foundation. He returned to the Graceville area and has medical offices in both Graceville and Chipley.

As our population continues to grow, the need for caring, qualified members of the medical profession grows also. It is hoped that this Scholarship will help local students achieve the education and training needed to excel in their chosen profession.

The family of Dr. W.W. and Loretta Richardson expressed their heartfelt thanks to all the board members and many local citizens that have driven this endeavor over the last 34 years. It was because of local efforts and the generosity of the surrounding communities, that over 100 scholarships have been awarded since the Foundation’s inception.

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