Ann R. & Neil K. Sawyer Scholarship

The Ann R. and Neil K. Sawyer Scholarship has a preference for a non-traditional student enrolled full-time who is a nursing major and in good standing at Winona State University.


A. Preference for a non-traditional student enrolled full-time and in good standing at Winona State University.
B. Accepted into the nursing program at WSU
C. Undergraduate or graduate student
D. Demonstrated strong academic achievement, as evidenced by a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.


Ann Sawyer was a freshman pre-med student when her Father passed away, unexpectedly, at the age of 41. His death necessitated a change in her career path. She transferred to the University of Minnesota to pursue a B.S. in Public Health Nursing. Sawyer earned her Masters in Counselor Education from Winona State in 1969 and began her work as a counselor at Winona Junior High School. She earned a EdD in Counseling Psychology from U of N Colorado in 1973.

Sawyer worked as a public health nurse for the City of Winona from 1962-1967 before beginning her work at Winona JHS. When President DuFresne approached her regarding the Dean of Nursing position at Winona State the program was in crisis. Sawyer is described by her colleagues as caring, understanding, respectful, kind, and visionary. All wonderful traits for a counselor and a Dean of Nursing. She brought cohesion and stability to the nursing program and was instrumental in expanding to the Rochester campus. Sawyer was with Winona State from 1975 through 1982.

After retirement, she opened a private practice counseling center in Winona (1982-1986). She is a very active Winona volunteer: Red Cross Blood Drive, Hospice Patient Care, and Retired Educators. Ann and Neil live on a farm on the edge of Winona with their standard poodle. They have four children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Ann R. & Neil K. Sawyer
College of Nursing, Graduate Level Scholarships, Nursing Department