Tamara Wesley-Hutton is the University of West Georgia’s proud first recipient of the recently established Ila Mae Gunnell Memorial Scholarship.
The scholarship, established for UWG’s School of Nursing, was created in honor of Ila Mae Gunnell, who devoted 32 years in helping to build what is now Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica into a highly respected health care facility.
The Ila Mae Gunnell Memorial Scholarship was created by Gunnell’s children, who believed that the scholarship was an ideal opportunity to pay tribute to their mother’s work.
“We feel like this was a wonderful way to honor her legacy – to help others achieve something she valued so much,” said daughter Carol Maynard.
Wesley-Hutton, 37, received the scholarship this fall. She is currently enrolled in the nursing program and works as an intensive care unit nurse at Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica.
“The scholarship benefited me personally because I am the sole provider for my family right now,” said Wesley-Hutton. “My husband is currently unemployed because the plant he worked for closed in December 2008. I also have two sons, ages 10 and 15, to take care of.”
Wesley-Hutton said she was grateful both for being a scholarship recipient and for UWG’s assistance in accepting her transfer classes from previous universities. She said these opportunities are helping her to achieve her goals.
Wesley-Hutton only has four more nursing classes to take before she obtains her bachelor’s of science in nursing degree. Her goals after graduation include beginning UWG’s master’s program for Leadership in Nursing and eventually becoming a nurse anesthetist.