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Wilmer & Clara Stradley Scholarship Fund

A nurse for 40 years, Clara Harrington Stradley of Milford, Del., practiced her profession in all three counties of the state, working in hospitals, schools and doctors' offices. Upon her death, she bequeathed funds to the University of Delaware to establish an endowed scholarship fund so that other nursing students could have careers in the profession she so enjoyed.

The University also received one of Mrs. Stradley's residences in Milford. Scholarships from the endowed fund will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need to recipients who have exhibited strong motivation and effort. Clara Stradley was born in Kent County, Del., between Milford and Frederica. One of seven children, she graduated from Milford Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1929 and became a registered nurse. At that time, her mother made all of her uniforms. Her sister recalls that Clara maintained a difficult schedule-working all day in the hospital and training at night. It took a long time and lots of dedication for student nurses to earn the coveted nurse's cap, her sister says, and many never made it. It was a proud day for the entire family when Clara got hers, her sister remembers. Clara used her skill and training in positions throughout the state.

During her nursing career, she worked at the former Delaware Hospital in Wilmington, at Milford Memorial Hospital and at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. She also served as the first school nurse at the first Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Del., and had experience as a nurse in doctors' offices. She worked as a private duty nurse until 1971 when she married Wilmer Stradley and retired from her profession.

Wilmer Stradley, who died in 1973, was the president of Diamond Ice & Coal Co. in Wilmington until his retirement in 1933 and was chairman of the board when the firm was sold to American Consumer Industries Inc. in 1962. He was a member of the board of the Wilmington Trust Co., the Artisans Savings Bank, the New Castle Mutual Insurance Co. the Electric Hose & Rubber Co. and the Wilmington Medical Center, and he served on the Wilmington Park Trust Fund Commission. Approximately 20 years before Clara Stradley's death, Wilmer Stradley left another bequest to the University. His gift-for unrestricted support-was used to create an endowed fund to assist students in nursing.

Spring application deadline: December 1st
Fall application deadline: May 1st

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