The BPCC Foundation will award one (1) Craig Nelson Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 ($1,000 per semester) each year. To receive the second half of the scholarship, student must have maintained at least a 2.00 GPA and be a full-time student
Sgt. Craig Nelson, was a 2002 graduate of Airline High School, which at the time adjoined to BPCC campus. His mother Lois said, “He just wanted to serve his country and stop terrorists”. So, immediately upon graduating from Airline High School, Craig joined the National Guard. He was with the 1/156th Armor Battalion when he received his orders for Iraq.
On December 16, 2004 while on patrol in Iraq, Craig was wounded by a roadside bomb. He was air lifted to Walter Reed Army Hospital at Andrews Air force base. He (and other wounded soldiers) received a visit from former U.S. Senator and World War II hero, Bob Dole who was also injured in battle. Senator Dole would later include a dedication to Craig in his printed memoir, “One Soldier’s Story”. Craig survived the bomb blast, but on Dec. 29, after being transferred to Bethesda Medical Center for an operation, Craig died of his injuries.
In March of 2005, after hearing of Craig’s passing, Senator Bob Dole sent a note and a $5,000 check to Craig’s mother, Lois to establish a memorial scholarship in honor of his ultimate service and sacrifice. Craig’s mother, family members, classmates and friends matched that initial gift. Mrs. Nelson established the Craig Nelson Memorial Scholarship Award at BPCC to ensure that Craig’s memory may live on through the gift of education for Airline students attending Bossier Parish Community College.
This scholarship will be awarded to a person possessing the following merits: