At a time when most health care professions are experiencing significant worker shortages and need is growing, community colleges and businesses have teamed up to support future graduates in key health care professions.
In 2009, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, with the generous support of METI and L-3 Communications, Inc., launched the Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship Program. This timely initiative is designed to recognize the academic and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in registered nursing, respiratory care or emergency medical service programs offered by regionally accredited community colleges. Up to twenty-five scholarships of $1,000 each was awarded for the 2011 academic year.
The scholarships target part-time, full-time and international students who have completed 50 percent of their course work leading toward achieving an associate degree and who have a demonstrable financial need (certificate students are not eligible to apply). Candidates do not have to be members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to apply.
The scholarship is named in honor of Frank Lanza, a founder of L-3 Communications - a global aerospace and defense company - that produces $15 billion in annual revenues and employs over 66,000 people worldwide. The scholarship endowment is funded equally by L-3 Communications and Medical Education Technologies, Inc. (METI), the world's leading producer of medical simulation products and educational software for health care education. In creating the endowment, Lou Oberndorf, METI Chairman and CEO and a long-time friend of Lanza, cited Lanza's visionary leadership and commitment to charitable causes as inspiration for the program.
Lanza served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War. He was a member of the board of directors for the Coast Guard Foundation and received the 2003 Distinguished Corporate Leadership award from the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines' and Airmen's Club. Lanza was also a member of the board of governors for the Aerospace Industries Association and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. A philanthropist, Lanza and his wife supported a variety of charities through a family foundation.