She may be gone, but she won't be forgotten.
In fact, Winnie Dolph's legacy will live on indefinitely at North Platte Community College thanks to a scholarship that has been created in her honor. The longtime nursing instructor died Oct. 14 following a battle with cancer.
"Winnie considered the college and her nursing students her family," said Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president for academic affairs and NPCC. "Winnie not only taught our future nurses, but also gave back to the college in many ways. She supported the Student Nurses Association, led bake sales, served as a faculty advisor, attended nearly all Board of Governors meetings and religiously attended NPCC athletic events."
On Wednesday, the NPCC Foundation announced that Dolph's support would continue in the form of an endowment, the Winnie Dolph Memorial Scholarship fund.
"We are so thankful to Winnie Dolph for her commitment and loyalty to the college and for the legacy that she chose to leave to us for the future," said Carol Bodeen, area director of development. "Winnie's donation of $112,000 to the NPCC Foundation will allow for two nursing students to each receive a scholarship of $2,500 per year."
The scholarships are renewable, meaning those who receive them can have their tuition paid for up to two years.
NPCC was home to Dolph for 15 years. She moved to North Platte from Portland, Ore. in 1991 and took a job in the dialysis unit at the hospital - known at the time as Great Plains Regional Medical Center.
She began working part-time at NPCC in 1996. Dolph replaced Carroll Hill as the clinical instructor for the Associate Degree of Nursing program and also subbed for both the ADN and Licensed Practical Nursing programs.
She became the full-time ADN instructor on July 1, 1997 and served as a sponsor for the NPCC chapter of the Nebraska State Student Nurses Association.
Winnie Dolph congratulates a student during a licensed practical nursing pinning ceremony at NPCC. A memorial scholarship has been created in Dolph's honor.
Dolph was named LPN coordinator in 2008, following the retirement of Barbara Christensen and Judy Gutschenritter – a position she retained until her own retirement in 2013.
In November of 2013, Winnie became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. However, she continued to give back and support the college as much as she could.
"When Winnie couldn't attend games, she watched from her computer," said Tomanek. "When she couldn't make it to classes, she Skyped with students or had them go to her home. Each time Ryan Purdy [college president] and I would go visit her, the first words out of Winnie's mouth were, "What's new at the college?"
Nursing students can apply for the Dolph scholarship now at http://www.mpcc.edu/financial-services/scholarships.
Applicants will be asked to write a short essay detailing why they are seeking a career in nursing. Submissions will be reviewed by nursing faculty, and a final selection will be made by the NPCC Foundation scholarship committee.