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While serving as a U.S. Marine, Leonard Bernard Graham III decided on his life path to become a Spartan Nurse and set a course to achieve it. When his life ended tragically at age 24, his parents wanted to keep his memory alive in a way that would be meaningful to him. “Once he passed,” his father Leonard recalls, “we figured that a scholarship would be the best way to preserve and honor his memory by helping others achieve their goal to become a nurse. MSU was the natural choice.”
Family and friends remember Leonard as a kind and good-hearted person who always cared about the needs of others before his own. He grew up helping his grandmother who was sick with multiple sclerosis, and he often acted as the “glue” among his many family members.
He joined the Marines in 2008, because he wanted to make a difference in the world. Sharing the brutal challenges of boot camp with his parents, he described how difficult but valuable lessons of leadership and accountability helped him grow. He served with distinction in Afghanistan, attached to a communications unit whose call letters ironically spelled out “Spartan.” His fellow soldiers could always count on him to keep up their morale and excel in leadership, while approaching situations with a calm and focused demeanor.
Upon his discharge, Leonard started his nursing education on the GI Bill at Oakland Community College while also working at UPS. It was his plan to transfer to the MSU College of Nursing. Michigan State was his only selection as he aspired to become a Spartan Nurse.
Our goal is to raise $2,000 in scholarship support of a future Spartan Nurse. The Graham family wants the scholarship to fulfill two purposes. “Supporting a student who will become a nurse,” they say, “will continue Leonard’s legacy of helping people. It will also help them over the financial hump and allow them to graduate with less debt stress.” The scholarship award gives priority to an active Marine, reservist, or honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the armed services.
The scholarship recipient for 2015 was Kyle Wilson, CON BSN ’16, who plans to become a flight nurse in the U.S. Air Force after graduation.
Your support will afford this opportunity to other students like Kyle. The Sergeant Leonard Bernard Graham III Nursing Scholarship serves to ignite the possibility of higher education and contributes to a living legacy of caring for others.
Our team is made up of Michigan State University College of Nursing Development and Alumni Relations staff in conjunction with Leonard and Tracy Graham and nursing student organizations.
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824
*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 16CRFCF1NRSWEEK” in the note section.