Adult nursing student named first recipient of the Irene Wilson George Endowed Scholarship

SAN ANTONIO — Patricia Hough is the first recipient of the Irene Wilson George Endowed Scholarship in Nursing, which was established as part of a gift from Ben and Bertha Mieth to Wayland Baptist University.

The scholarship, as well as the first recipient, were announced Monday during the grand opening of the Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing at Wayland’s San Antonio campus in Live Oak. Irene Wilson George was the mother of Bertha Mieth and entered nursing school as an adult learner after her first husband passed away. After graduating in 1956 as an LVN from Methodist Hospital’s nursing program, she worked double shifts, always carrying a well-worn and slightly yellowed Bible in her smock so she could minister to patients.

“Irene embraced the hard days of nursing, when there were no throw-away syringes, no aides to change sheets, and nurses did everything for patients,” said Dr. Bobby Hall, university president. “Irene’s zeal for nursing was matched only by her passion to serve the Lord.”

“Ben and Bertha Mieth honor two grandchildren who have earned BSN degrees as well as recognize Irene’s legacy of Christian service by establishing this scholarship for those who seek to serve through nursing,” Hall continued.

Students selected for the scholarship will be those who have shown outstanding performance or who bring special qualities or abilities to the university, with consideration being given to academic achievement, financial need, character, and qualities of leadership. The award will be given annually to a nursing student selected by the dean and faculty.


In accepting the scholarship, Hough said she was honored, but “a little shocked” to be selected. Her story is similar to that of the scholarship’s namesake, Irene Wilson George.

“I have wanted to be a nurse since I was in middle school,” Hough said. “In seventh grade, I decided that I wanted to go to med school. However, after completing a research project on my desired profession during my eighth-grade year, I realized that I wanted a more hands-on, personable, interactive, bedside role in caring for patients. Thus, my dream to be a nurse was born.”

“I can’t say the path has been straight,” Hough continued. “I deferred acceptance to another nursing school in 2003 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. My plan was to take a year off, stay home with her, and then begin my schooling. Twenty years and three kids later, I decided it was finally time to fulfill my life-long dream.”

Hough said that being awarded this scholarship will allow her to concentrate on what is important for her, “completing my degree to fulfill a life-long dream. Your generosity allows me the peace of mind to focus on my last few classes before graduation. My prayer is that following graduation I will be able to continue to honor the scholarship’s namesake by leaving a legacy of supportive and compassionate care for my patients by utilizing the evidence-based practices and solid foundational skills that I have learned while attending the Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing.”

Hough turned her attention directly to Bertha Mieth, who was seated on the front row, as she said, “I understand that this scholarship is named for your mother who worked in healthcare for many years. I am grateful for her service to this profession and for your and Mr. Mieth’s generous donation to the nursing school in her memory. Your donation will help provide opportunities for state-of-the-art learning facilities, real-life simulation labs, and an unwavering ability to educate nurses to the highest caliber possible.”

Turning her attention to the faculty and staff of the nursing school, as well as the Mieths, Hough said, “Thank you again for this award from the bottom of my heart.”