MCC News

FMCC Launches Mary Josephine Vukits Nursing Scholarship

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Foundation for Muskegon Community College (FMCC) hosted a reception on June 23 in the Blue and Gold Room to announce its new Mary Josephine Vukits Nursing Scholarship, created by the namesake’s nephew Tom Dake, for students in MCC’s Nursing Program. 

Vukits, who passed away at age 90 in April 2013, was a Registered Nurse at Hackley Hospital for more than 30 years until her retirement. She grew up the sixth of eight children in Dodgeville, WI, where she graduated from high school in 1941. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor later that year, she joined her older siblings in serving the nation. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. Army and devoted much of her military service in the Philippines caring for gravely wounded soldiers. She met her future husband, Army Sgt. Frank Vukits, while he was working as a Stars and Stripes journalist. 

They married and settled permanently in Muskegon, where Frank worked at Brunswick and Mary at Hackley Hospital. They were known for their beautiful gardens and their generous membership at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Mary had an unsurpassed generosity of spirit. She worked at the hospice camp helping children cope with their own grief, read to young children in the local schools and prepared holiday baskets and meals with the Salvation Army. 

“This is a great opportunity for MCC nursing students to pursue their degrees and to follow in the footsteps of Mary in service to the community,” said Pam Brown, director of the MCC Nursing Program. 

The new scholarship is open to individuals who are currently enrolled or accepted for admission in the nationally accredited MCC Nursing Program; have a GPA of 3.0 or better; have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours and are enrolled full time at MCC at the time of application. For a full list of the scholarship requirements, visit  Applications for the Fall 2014 semester are due by July 31, 2014. 

In 2013, MCC Nursing Program graduates once again exceeded both Michigan and national averages on their first time pass rates on the National Council Licensing Examination for RNs and LPNs. 

The MCC Nursing Program traces its roots back to 1962 with a vocational nursing program. In 1981, a career ladder associate degree nursing program was established to supplant the Hackley School of Nursing Diploma Program and the MCC Practical Nursing Program. The program has remained fully approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing since its inception. Since 2006, the program has been nationally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), currently the only national accrediting body for Associate Degree Nursing programs.