PROUD SUPPORTER - Rend Lake College Nursing Professor Bonnie Tolbert is pictured with the Rend Lake College Foundation Bronze Major Gift Award after accepting it Thursday night at the Foundation's Annual Dinner Meeting in Mt. Vernon. Pictured with her are RLC President Charley D. Holstein and RLCF CEO Pat Kern (RIGHT). CLICK HERE> for a larger image.
MT. VERNON, Ill. – The Rend Lake College Allied Health Division has many shining stars. One is RLC Professor of Practical Nursing Bonnie Tolbert.
Tolbert has spent much of her life giving back in the classroom and several other ways as well. She was awarded the Bronze Major Gift Award at the RLC Foundation’s Annual Dinner Meeting, Dec. 3, at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
As a strong supporter of nursing scholarships, Tolbert has taken her turn with the other nursing faculty by chairing the RLC LPN student endowed scholarships fundraiser, which helps the nursing students raise scholarship funds for future nursing students. She has also contributed to the nursing scholarships by adding her own funds.
In 2000, she donated a human skeleton, which is a fairly expensive learning tool to aid in student learning. In 2007 she donated another helpful gift-in-kind; a transport chair to be used to aid physically challenged visitors on campus.
In 2004, she took the lead in establishing an annual family scholarship for her mother-in-law, Arnistine Tolbert. In 2008, with the aid of the Tolbert family, she continued this memorial honor by participating in the Challenge Grant scholarship endowment program so that the Arnistine Tolbert Memorial became a perpetual fund.
She also created the “Carlos and Bonnie Tolbert” Challenge Grant in honor of her husband’s passing. The criteria depicts both of their careers with the criteria specifying a preference first for nursing (referring to Bonnie) and secondly criminal justice (referring to Carlos being a retired state policeman). She made an intelligent move by creating another Challenge Grant scholarship which will be everlasting.
Tolbert said her answer to why she continues her scholarship support is in every phone call she gets from nursing students saying they passed their exams and are registered nurses. She said without financial assistance, many students could not do it.
“Without assistance, they might not end up at the bedside of sick and dying people, nursing a generation or more.”