Deadline: April 1, 2021
The Vera & Francis Stanton Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by their daughters, Peggy Stanton and Mary Ellen Bunkers, as a way to honor their parents, Vera and Francis, and their parents' strong belief in Catholic education.
Vera Wheeler was born in the small Irish community of Montrose, South Dakota, in 1916. She was just two years old when she lost her mother in a tragic accident on the family farm. Vera had four brothers and the five siblings looked out for each other. Then the family expanded by five siblings and a step-sister after their father remarried. It was their strong Catholic faith and relying on each other that saw the young children through tough times. Vera moved to Sioux Falls in the 1930's to live with a widowed cousin and help care for her young children. She was first introduced to Catholic education when these children attended Cathedral grade school. While living in Sioux Falls, Vera met Francis Stanton.
Francis was born near Jasper, Minnesota, in 1914. His mother died when he was a young eight-year-old boy leaving Fran and his five siblings without their mother. He briefly lived in Watertown, South Dakota, and then moved to Sioux Falls with his family. Francis lived in the McKennan Hospital neighborhood. He attended Cathedral grade school and walked to school daily with his siblings. Eventually, his father remarried and their family welcomed a sister and four step-brothers to their family. This expanded family relied on their Catholic faith to maintain strong family values. One of his sisters became a Dominican nun and taught at Cathedral.
Vera and Francis were married for 62 years before Vera's death in 2006. For about 50 of those years, they lived in the North End of Sioux Falls. At one time, Vera and Francis, four of his siblings, and his father all lived within a six-block radius of the Cathedral. In those days the North End was truly a community with Vera and Francis and other family members watching out for their neighbors, including widows and the elderly. Vera and Francis, having both had exposure to a Catholic education at Cathedral, sent their two daughters to Cathedral grade school and junior high schools and O'Gorman High School. Mary and Jerry Bunkers, in turn, have sent all three of their daughters to Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools. When Francis passed away in March of 2007, Peggy and Mary, recognizing the sacrifice it took on the part of Vera and Francis to send them to Catholic schools, established this scholarship fund to help those who believe in Catholic education but are unable to afford it.
The recipient of the Vera & Francis Stanton Memorial Scholarship will receive an award certificate in May as well as a tuition credit for the following fall semester at O'Gorman High School. The recipient will be determined by the scholarship selection committee.
The Vera & Francis Stanton Memorial Scholarship is a special scholarship that recognizes an incoming 9th-12th grade student at O'Gorman High School that is a Cathedral parishioner and has financial need.
The Vera & Francis Stanton Memorial Scholarship application form will be made available each year during enrollment on the Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools website. The TADS application should be completed to be eligible for this scholarship.