Anonymous Donors Offer Free Kirkwood Scholarships for Wounded Warriors

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

The front of Linn Hall, the flagship building at Kirkwood Community College, on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. (Crystal LoGiudice/The Gazette).

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By Dave Franzman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Two anonymous donors are offering a helping hand to “wounded warriors” who would like to pursue a degree at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.

Beginning sometime this spring, Kirkwood will select the first recipients of The Purple Heart Scholarship. The scholarship will provide free tuition and books for any course of study for up to two years at the community college. That’s worth about $5,000 per year. Jodi Donaldson, scholarship and alumni officer at Kirkwood, said the requirements for recipients are not restrictive. Those applying must have been awarded a purple heart during military operations and have at least a 3.0 grade point average in either high school or college. If the purple heart recipient is not interested in a Kirkwood program, the scholarship can be given to a spouse or children with a limit of one recipient per family.

Donaldson said the donors pledged a five year gift of $350,000 to fund scholarships for wounded warriors. The donors, described as Kirkwood alums, have been part of the Cedar Rapids community for approximately 37 years.

“Kirkwood is a great school for working parents,” the donors said adding “we’re excited to do something meaningful to honor our fighting men and women and their families.”

Donaldson said there is no competition for the scholarships. Anyone meeting the qualifications, of a purple heart award and a 3.0 gpa, will receive one as long as the scholarship money lasts each year.

Kirkwood currently has about 800 veterans attending classes. Donaldson said no one at the school is quite sure how many might qualify for the scholarship. Information about The Purple Heart Scholarship is online at Kirkwood. The school hopes to select the first recipients in time for spring classes.

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