The Scholarship

2020 WOW Foundation Scholarship Winner - Genevieve Pfister

Genevieve Pfister, graduate of Bishop Hartley, is the 2020 recipient of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship. She received a $5,000 scholarship from the Foundation and is attending Denison University this 2020-21 academic year.

Genevieve was a member of the National Honor Society; acted or was a stage crew member in every drama or musical the school presented during her four years; was a founding member of the school’s Care 4 Creation Association; served as a school ambassador; read to residents of the memory loss floor at the Bickford of Bexley Assisted Living Facility; and was a student government officer and a captain in the school’s house system of smaller student communities within the larger school. She also took part in Buckeye Girls State, the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop at Denison University, the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, and the ASPIRE physics camp at Ohio State University, and was a member of the school’s Hooked on Books Book Club and volunteered as a junior camp counselor at the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh.

In her first year at Denison, Genevieve has already started her own service reading committee, joined executive boards of two campus clubs, helped with a theater production and participated in community service on campus. She also had the opportunity to teach a three-week online class on Women in American Journalism.





The Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship is to honor the memory of Wendy Ward, wife and mother of two, who tragically passed away on May 18, 2012 at the age of 32 after a two-year battle with breast cancer.  Wendy excelled as a student at Bishop Luers High School in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.  Wendy always achieved great success at all levels of her education in the areas of English, literature and creative writing.  After receiving her B.A. in English from UD in 2001, Wendy went on to have a successful 10-year career as a writer and public relations consultant.  Wendy was grateful for her education, and she always said that she counted herself lucky to have the opportunity in her career to do something not all English majors can - to use her skills and write everyday for her job.

To honor Wendy’s memory and success in all her academic pursuits, her husband, Chris Ward, established the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship in 2014 to provide a yearly award to graduating seniors for their hard work and excellence in those fields of study where Wendy’s passions did rest.  It is with this purpose to financially assist the furthering of students’ education and to honor Wendy’s memory for those who loved her, especially her two children, Caroline and Jack, that the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship is established.



Scholarship Eligibility

Eligibility to submit an application is limited to a student: 

  • Who is a graduating senior from one of the following Central Ohio high schools:
    • Bishop Hartley High School
    • Bishop Watterson High School
    • St. Charles Preparatory School
    • St. Francis DeSales High School
    • Cristo Rey Columbus High School
    • Bishop Ready High School
    • Hilliard Davidson High School
    • Hilliard Darby High School
    • Hilliard Bradley High School
    • Dublin Coffman High School
    • Dublin Scioto Hight School
    • Dublin Jerome High School
  • Who will be enrolled as an entering full-time student at a university, college, junior or community college, business or technical school within one year of the date of the award.​

The guidance counselor(s) or other high school administrative official at each school shall, at the request of the Foundation, identify two (2) eligible applicants per school and provide the application materials to those students to apply. Applications for this award submitted by any student who is not one of the two identified and provided the materials from their school will not be considered.

The Foundation will choose an awardee and grant a one-time scholarship in the amount of $7,500.00 toward tuition, fees, room, board or other educational expenses. The Wendy O. Ward Foundation shall pay the scholarship amount directly to the college or university where the student is enrolled, as confirmed by contact to the college or university, unless other arrangements are determined.


Criteria for Scholarship Award Selection

The Board of Directors of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation has chosen a five-person Scholarship Selection Committee to review all information provided by all applicants and determine eligibility.   This year’s Selection Committee consists of Chris Ward, Kate Robinson, Nick O’Bryan, Karen Limbert and Lenna Jarrett.

The Committee and Board of Directors shall use the following criteria in recommendations and determinations:


  • overall high school academic achievement;
  • superior academic achievement in one or more of the following areas of language arts study: English, literature, composition, creative writing, technical writing, college writing or any other form of writing;
  • involvement in the school, community and extracurricular activities; and
  • review of letter of recommendation and responses to substantive application questions.

The Committee and Board of Directors shall not base recommendations or determinations on financial need, academic institution to which applicant(s) have been accepted or any specific intent or plans as to future fields of study or career aspirations.



No award of any Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship under any circumstances shall be made to a member of the immediate family of any of the following: the Incorporators, Board of Directors, Officers or employees of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation; or any immediate family member of any current member of the Scholarship Selection Committee.

The Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded on a non-discriminatory and objective basis.  All funds must be used for tuition, room and board or other educational expenses.



Scholarship Application and Procedure

The deadline for all first-time and renewal applications for the Memorial Scholarship and for all documents and information required for eligibility shall be determined annually by the Board of Directors of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation or by the Scholarship Selection Committee in cooperation and counsel with the Diocese of Columbus. In 2021, the Foundation will award one $7,500 scholarship. This year’s scholarship deadline is tentatively set at March 26, 2021 unless otherwise specified on the application materials.

Scholarship Presentation 

The awarding of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship must be performed in a manner that honors the spirit of the award.  The intent of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation is to schedule and conduct the Wendy’s Walk charitable event during the summer of each year, it is the intent that all awards shall be officially presented to the recipients at the Wendy’s Walk event each year.  The Wendy O. Ward Foundation asks that any recipient(s) make any and all effort to attend the Wendy’s Walk event and accept the award in front of those gathered in Wendy’s honor and memory.  Neither the selection nor the award of any scholarship funds is contingent upon the recipient attending the Wendy’s Walk event.