Mike Nelson of Pella, a director and treasurer of the Vic Rail Scholarship Foundation, announced the winners of the Vic Rail Scholarship Awards for 2019 at the annual Senior Awards Night Wednesday at the Fairfield High School Auditorium.
The recipients were:
• Brittan Bowman, who was awarded $1,000. Bowman is the son of Heidi and Robert Bowman of Fairfield. He plans to attend Iowa State University pursuing a career in engineering.
• Jillian Dunlap, who was awarded $1,000. Dunlap is the daughter of Marci and Brian Dunlap of Fairfield. She plans to attend Iowa State University to study industrial design.
• Shaelyn Thompson, who was awarded $1,500. Thompson is the daughter of Rhonda and Lawrence Thompson of Fairfield. She plans to attend Iowa State University to become a astrophysicist.
• Laurel Hilger was awarded $1,500. Hilger is the daughter of Bonnie and Shilo Hilger of Fairfield. She plans to attend Iowa State University to become a chemical engineer.
Rail was a mathematics teacher at FHS, and his influence on his students was the prime reason for starting the scholarship foundation in his name.
The presenter, Nelson, was one of those students; he continued his education and graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Iowa. During his presentation, he commented on Rail’s influence on him and the fact that many of his students have entered the engineering field after graduating. He said it is the foundation’s hope the awards will influence the recipients toward a successful career.
Nelson also said he is honored to be replacing Frank Fritz as a board member and treasurer, and he extended the board’s thanks to Fritz for his service to the foundation and the community.
Fritz had served the foundation since 1996.
The Vic Rail Scholarship award is given annually to graduating seniors who will or who are studying in a mathematics-related field at the college of their choice. This is the 33rd year that the awards have been given at FHS, starting the year after Rail retired from teaching in 1985. A total of $80,250 has been awarded.
The funds awarded come from the interest on investments. There are 35 active donors to the foundation.