Eighteen Catholic students from the Diocese of Davenport will receive $1,000 college scholarships for the next academic year because of the generosity of the late Marguerite Ritzinger.
The diocese initially planned to award 10 scholarships, but the Marguerite Ritzinger Scholarship Committee decided to increase the number after receiving nearly 220 applications.
Deciding factors in determining scholarship recipients were: evidence of strong involvement in the Catholic Church, volunteer activities in church or the community, financial need and, in some cases, number of college students in the same family.
“These applications are really a tribute to the Catholics who are our future leaders,” said Char Maaske, the diocese’s chief financial officer. She serves on the scholarship committee with Father Marty Goetz, Sister Laura Goedken, Mary Wieser, Lauren Flores and Father David Wilkening.
“It was very difficult to select the best because almost all of the applications indicated high scholastic achievement,” Maaske said. “These young people are usually very active in their church, good students and also have financial need. So the committee felt Marguerite Ritzinger would be pleased if it was decided to increase the number of awards given.”
Ritzinger was a businesswoman and Sigourney native who died in 2005. She left $388,770 to the diocese with the stipulation that half of the money go toward seminarians’ education and half toward scholarships for students to attend colleges or universities. Seminarians already have benefited from the funds set aside for their education and the money for that purpose has been exhausted.
All six deaneries of the Davenport Diocese are represented among the scholarship recipients. Scholarships are being awarded to:
Freshmen: John Blough, Alexandria Capriola, Katie Dorpinghaus, Heather Feller, Bridget Garnica, Carolyn Holm, Quinn Montgomery and Leah Norcross.
Sophomores: Francis Agnoli, Laura Blunk, Gilbert Garnica, Marissa Timmerman and Virginia Trujillo.
Juniors: Patrick Gent, Marcy Mueller, Sarah Paulsen.
Seniors: Anthony Pham, Kayla Riegel.
The scholarships are not automatically renewed each year so college students are encouraged to apply next spring.