An endowed scholarship is a permanent and personal way to make a difference in the lives of Carthage students. These funds exist in perpetuity and provide support for current and future generations of students.

While many endowments are established by one or two primary philanthropic donors, some are created through the collaboration of a larger group giving what they can in order to establish a lasting gift.

During the 150 Years of Carthage Women celebration, we invite our philanthropic partners to create new endowed scholarships or add to one already in existence. Below is a list of scholarships that benefit Carthage women. Additional gifts to any of these endowments are greatly appreciated.

If you would like to direct your contribution to one of the below scholarships, please include the scholarship name on your check or in the designation field when you make your gift online. If you have any questions, please contact Staci Carson at or 262-551-5703.


Award criteria: The Jane Slezak Sturgeon and Lester Sturgeon Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to students in the Natural Sciences that demonstrate a financial need, who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, and give preference to women.

About this scholarship: Jane was able to attend Carthage through the support of her parents, Mary and George Slezak and the help of three scholarships from the Esper A. Petersen Foundation, the Croatian Fraternal Union and the Carthage Honor Scholarship. It was only with this financial support that she was able to continue her education at Carthage, since her sister Cathleen (’72) was also attending Carthage. It is because of their understanding of how a higher education can be a financial strain that Les and Jane Sturgeon have endowed this scholarship.


Award criteria: This scholarship will be awarded to full-time undergraduate students based on financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with preference given to female students majoring in Social Work.

The student recipients should demonstrate a commitment to advocate for social justice, faith, community-building, human diversity and dignity. It may be renewed for up to five years if the recipient remains in good academic standing within the Social Work major.

About this scholarship: This scholarship is named in honor and memory of Dr. Ruth Fangmeier, Professor Emerita of Social Work, at Carthage. Dr. Fangmeier spent more than 20 years at Carthage. During that time, she developed many meaningful relationships with colleagues, staff and especially her students. She will be remembered for her deep-seated devotion to teaching, her kindness and compassion toward others, her creativity, and her quick wit. Dr. Fangmeier passed away on April 24, 2018.


Award criteria: The scholarship will be given to female students based on financial need and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

About this scholarship: Carthage College Women’s Club was founded in 1954. Membership included women employees or spouses of employees.


Award criteria: This scholarship will be awarded to an upperclassman majoring in marketing, with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and give preference to women. If there is not a marketing major who meets these requirements, the scholarship will be given to a female student in the Business Administration Department who shows a high level of academic ability and/or financial need.

About this scholarship: This scholarship was made possible through the generous giving of Betsy Hanisch ’81, founder and President of Fire Facilities, Inc. Ms. Hanish was named one of the Influential Women in Business for the West Suburbs of Chicago, and works with numerous non-profit groups. She endowed this scholarship in honor of her mother.


Award criteria: This scholarship is awarded to one or more deserving females with sophomore, junior or senior standing and who are active members of a recognized sorority at Carthage. Selection will be based upon greatest financial need and grade point average.

About this scholarship: Kappa Chi Omega was founded in 1965 and cherished a strong history of sisterhood that was demonstrated through their service projects, fundraisers and social events. In 1996, Kappa Chi Omega took bold action to become the first national sorority on campus, Chi Omega. The strength of Kappa Chi Omega has carried over into Chi Omega, enabling them to share common values, purpose and lifelong friendships.

Debra (Erickson) Hartfield ’80 and Carthage Trustee, Gina Madrigrano Friebus ’76 were instrumental in establishing this scholarship and were joined by many of their sisters in the sorority to fully endow this fund.


Award criteria: This scholarship is awarded to a deserving Kappa Phi Eta chosen based upon financial need and merit. The donors created this scholarship in order to successfully reward a deserving and upstanding current member of the organization each year.

About this scholarship: Founded in 1965, Kappa Phi Eta has had a profound presence in the Carthage community since its doors opened that same year. With over 40 years of success through its strong dedication to sisterhood, leadership, scholarship and philanthropy, Kappa Phi Eta is a strong, close-knit group of college women. The scholarship was established in 2005 with donations from Kappa Phi Eta alumnae in honor of the sorority’s 40th anniversary.


Award criteria: The Irène Kraemer Starting Over Scholarship will be awarded to an adult female student of sophomore or junior standing, who has returned to Carthage to begin a new path in her life. The scholarship will not be awarded on financial need, as finances regarding adult students may not be a reliable indicator of need. The choice of the adult female recipient will be determined by the Adult Education Department with the understanding that the student shows the following criteria:
  * a life change requiring her to return to college
  * a strong desire and/or need to complete her college degree
  * a passion and appreciation for learning
  * the talent/aptitude to complete such a degree

About this scholarship:
This scholarship is named in honor of Irène Kraemer who was both a professor and administrator at Carthage College for over 30 years. As an adult student herself, Irène possessed the courage and spirit that so many adult women students possess. As Dean of the Adult Education Department, she was famous for moving mountains to make sure all adult students got a fighting chance at an education, but she always had a special place in her heart for the women.

With Irène Kraemer all things were possible and the word “no” was never a part of her vocabulary. She had a clear vision of what was necessary to support adult students returning to college, and with that innovative vision implemented many new programs for adult education. This scholarship honors Irène Kraemer’s memory and gives financial assistance to an adult female student who exemplifies her spirit.


Award criteria: This scholarship is awarded to one or more active members of Pi Theta. The recipient must have either junior or senior class standing. Selection will be based upon greatest financial need and grade point average merit.

About this scholarship: Pi Theta is a local sorority that prides itself on offering active leadership roles in the sorority, around campus, and in the community. Each girl in Pi Theta grows and matures to be a strong independent woman, leaving Carthage with a hard work ethic, the ability to speak her mind, and memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

The scholarship was established in 2005 with donations from Pi Theta alumnae in honor of the sorority’s 40th anniversary. Sharon and Cary Bjork were instrumental in funding the Pi Theta scholarship.



Award criteria: Recipients of the Grace C. Staber Scholarship must be female first year students, who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship follows the student through their four years at Carthage.

About this scholarship: This scholarship was established by Walter Drum (Mrs. Staber’s brother) and Kenneth J. Drum (her nephew) to honor Mrs. Grace E. Staber. Mrs. Staber was a successful businesswomen, running a string of beauty boutiques in California.


Award criteria: The Rita Petretti Endowed Scholarship fund will be awarded to one or more students displaying financial need as determined by the recipients’ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) who are pursuing education abroad. The recipients will be selected with the following priorities:
  * Recipients will be studying abroad for a semester or a year
  * Recipients must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above
  * Preference will go to a student enrolled in an Italian program, though not required.
  * Preference will be given to women

About this scholarship: Ms. Petretti is a proud Italian-American born to immigrant parents. Her admiration for all things Italian was enhanced when she traveled to the land of her forefathers and lived in Italy for three years in her 20’s. Through her time abroad, she developed a deep appreciation for language, food, culture, music, art, and design. She now wants to give today’s generation of young people the same opportunity to live and explore another culture. Her scholarship will support a Carthage student during their semester or year-long study abroad experience, with preference for female students enrolled in the Italian program. Ms. Petretti is President of Petretti Realty Corporation, a family business where she works to develop, build and manage hundreds of properties. Many Carthage students, faculty, and staff make their homes in Petretti apartments located a short distance from campus.