McCormick Scholarship Attracts and Aids High-achieving Students

Molly Schmanke can pinpoint exactly when her passion for science began. When she took a biology class in middle school, she became fascinated with how organs worked. By the time she was in high school, she looked forward to chemistry every day.

“I don't know what it was about it, but I just understood it really well,” she said. “I liked learning about stuff that I honestly didn't know anything about before.”

Schmanke, who just completed her sophomore year at Regis studying biochemistry, said she feels the same about her courses today. “It’s kind of nerdy, but I actually really like being busy with homework,” she said. “I’m really excited about it.”

She’s exactly the type of student who exemplifies the criteria for the McCormick Scholarship.

Named for Richard and Mary Pat McCormick, the endowed scholarship is awarded to high-performing students who demonstrate strong character and academic credentials. The first scholarship was awarded in 2014 after the McCormicks provided $1.25 million, allowing the four-year scholarship to be awarded to as many as four students at a time. Mary Pat McCormick is a lifetime trustee of the university.

As the endowment grows, additional students will be awarded the scholarship, creating a pipeline of high-achieving students to Regis.

For Schmanke, who received the scholarship as a freshman, the award means she can study pre-dentistry, working toward a long-term goal that she said combines her passion for science and art.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in the sciences because I find it really interesting and I also like working with my hands,” she said. “I like how dentistry combines science and art, in a way. You can create new teeth, you can create dentures and all this stuff with your hands, and it's almost like artwork.”

Schmanke, who is from Conway Springs, Kan., remembers exactly where she was when she learned she had won the McCormick Scholarship, too. “I actually got the email on my senior spring break,” she said. “All my friends and I were in Colorado skiing and I ran into the room yelling that I got the scholarship to all my friends.”

Two years later, Schmanke said she’s still grateful.

“I’m just appreciative of the scholarship because without it, I wouldn't be able to be here at Regis,” Schmanke said. “I wouldn't have been able to afford it so I'm just very thankful for the scholarship.”