Earlier in August, Bonnie Ward of McPherson officially established a scholarship to help support McPherson College students planning to become educators after graduation.
The John and Bonnie (Martin) Ward Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a McPherson resident attending McPherson College full time and who plans to become a teacher after graduation.
“We are deeply appreciative of the Ward family’s generosity,” said Dr. Shane Kirchner, assistant professor of education. “This scholarship will help strengthen our relationship with the local community as we ‘grow our own’ future teachers.”
Dr. John Ward and Bonnie Martin Ward met at McPherson College in the late 1940s. During their senior years, they each served as student council presidents – John in 1949-1950 and Bonnie in 1950-1951. Later in life, McPherson College recognized each of them individually for their numerous outstanding personal and professional contributions, awarding them with the college’s highest alumni recognition, the Citation of Merit – John in 1980 and Bonnie in 1991.
Bonnie taught history classes at Canton High School following her graduation from McPherson College. With her marriage to John in 1953 and the birth of their three children, Martin, Steven and Anne, she devoted herself to the family while also working as an administrative assistant at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
John had a distinguished career in higher education as a faculty member at McPherson College and the University of Nebraska. He received the title of professor emeritus from the university following his retirement, while continuing to serve as an agriculture consultant throughout the world for many years. In addition, both John and Bonnie were active in the Church of the Brethren congregations of McPherson and Lincoln, Neb.
Following John’s passing in April 2015, Bonnie, along with her children, established the endowed scholarship fund in memory of the life that John and Bonnie shared with their family.