JEANETTE E. NELSON SCHOLARSHIP | RVC Foundation Board of Directors

JEANETTE E. NELSON SCHOLARSHIP | RVC Foundation Board of Directors

Contact: Mr. Robert Stenstrom, President

Karl Nelson was a man who believed in being prepared, so in 1975 he sat down with his wife, Jeanette, and together with their attorney, they created the Nelson Trust. It was established to take care of either partner in the event of an early death, with a few special bequests to be made after both were gone. Karl Nelson was a salesman from W.W. Grainger in Rockford, IL. and Jeanette Nelson (nee Smith) was the daughter of the District Manager of General Electric and grew up on Calvin Park Blvd. She never worked outside of her home. She was a self-proclaimed gypsy who loved to travel within the Continental U.S. The Nelson’s had no children.

Karl Lee Nelson died in 1983, followed by Jeanette Nelson in 1996, after a short illness. The Nelson Trust not only took care of Jeanette during the remainder of her lifetime, but it also left a sizeable gift to Rock Valley College. The bequest was for the purpose of creating scholarships for deserving students with financial need. The Jeanette E. Nelson Scholarship was established in 1998.


The Jeanette E. Nelson Scholarship has awarded multiple scholarships to deserving students with financial need for the last 23 years, and will continue to to so for many years to come. More Rock Valley College students have received the Nelson Scholarship than any other award that we offer. The effect of the Nelson Scholarship is generational, as recipients in the late 1990’s are now seeing their children attend RVC and also receive a Nelson Scholarship. As long as there is a Rock Valley College, there will be a Jeanette E. Nelson Scholarship award.