When Ashley Lutz’s friends, family and mentors gathered to talk about a new scholarship established in Lutz’s name, a deep reservoir of emotion emerged to paint the picture of a hard-working, caring young woman with a passion for nursing.
Lutz was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer as she prepared for her nursing exams in anticipation of a May 2011 graduation. Ann Hart, Lutz’s clinical advisor, proctored Lutz’s last exam from beside her student’s hospital bed.
"Her nursing reflected her as a person," Hart said. "She was kind, compassionate, very soft-spoken, not easy to frazzle. The kind of person you would want to take care of you."
Though her prognosis was not good, with characteristic determination Lutz left the hospital and, refusing to be bound to a wheelchair, walked across the stage to accept her nursing pin and join her peers at graduation. That moment was the realization of a dream Lutz had nurtured since her junior year of high school. Days later she passed away.
– Ann Hart, Clinical Advisor
In her honor, those who knew and loved her have established The Ashley Lutz Memorial Scholarship in Nursing, to be awarded for the first time in May 2012. Eligible undergraduates must demonstrate passion and leadership in the field of nursing.
The idea for the scholarship originated with Ashley’s peers and grew into an effort that includes Sigma Theta Tau International Gamma Iota; the Association of Nursing Students, for which Ashley served as treasurer; friends; family and colleagues.
The students plan to build an endowment - requiring a minimum fund of $25,000 - so that the scholarship will be available in perpetuity. They have collected donations in trunks decorated with the phrase "Loot for Lutz," and continue to hold fundraisers for the scholarship. The Association of Nursing Students has contributed $2,500. While the endowment is built, Sigma Theta Tau will provide the annual scholarship award in Lutz’s memory.
Ways to Contribute
The Association of Nursing Students will host a fundraiser Friday, April 27, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM in the Lucas Room of the Bonnie Cone Center. Dinner will be served; all donations collected at the event will be applied to the scholarship endowment.
Online donations can be made. Select "Other" from the drop-down menu on the right, and click "Submit Dropdown Field," then type “Ashley Lutz Memorial Scholarship Fund” as the designation.
Individuals who would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship can mail a gift to University Development, Attn: Heather Shaughnessy, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, N.C. 28223. Make checks payable to UNC Charlotte Foundation and write "Ashley Lutz Memorial Scholarship" on the memo line.
Pictured, left to right: Chancellor Philip L. Dubois; Heather Shaughnessy, Director of Development for the College of Health and Human Services; Dr. Dee Baldwin, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Nursing; Emily Lutz, Ashley's sister; Tammy Emory, mother of Ashley's fiance, Christopher; Lisa Lutz, Ashley's mother; Chris Lutz, Ashley's father.
Photo: Mitchell Kearney Photography