Doris Smith served nearly 35 years as a registered nurse with Montana Deaconess Medical Center until just before her death in 1983. She was known for her delightful sense of humor and warm personality. Aware of Doris’ devotion and interest in the future of nursing, her friends and family created a nursing scholarship in her name the year she passed away.
It was through the special interest of Rev. William Wesley Van Orsdel that the Deaconess Hospital, now Benefis Hospitals, first began providing care in Great Falls in 1898. This endowment to provide nursing scholarships was created in the late 1980s in memory of this hospital co-founder and the significant contributions he made to medical care for the people of Montana.
Both the Doris Smith Scholarship and the Van Orsdel Scholarship originally were set up as scholarship funds and later turned into a combined endowment. This scholarship is for Montana State University students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or BSN's pursing graduate degrees.
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