Berlin Community Scholarship Corp.

DOWNLOAD 2019 APPLICATION HERE - BCSC 2019 Application Form



The Berlin Education Association, made up of educator’s from the Berlin School District, has provided scholarships, awarded through BCSC, since 1989.  An annual spaghetti dinner raises funds to provide scholarships for college students pursuing degrees in education.


Tom grew up in Beaver Dam and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the Marine Corps.  Liz grew up right here in Berlin and attended Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska for two years before graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1961. Tom began working at the Berlin Foundry in 1964 working in sales and other positions, eventually moving his way up to president of the company.  The Butterbrodts purchased the foundry in 1986 developing it into a thriving business employing hundreds of people. 

Because of the many hard-working people who labored in the business and community, when the foundry was sold again in 1995, the Butterbrodts decided to give back to the community through the Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation.  They chose this organization because Tom was a long time board member and vice president of BCSC and Liz is a BHS alum.  They hope that the scholarships help local young people further their education after high school.  At that time they established two annual scholarships, a $2,000 one awarded to a high school senior, and the second $2,000 scholarship to be awarded a college student.


The Class of 1960 believes that sustaining friendships and keeping in contact is extremely important.  When the number of deaths in their class continued to grow, they decided to endow a scholarship from their class.  A small group of 1960 graduates began the collection and requested class participation.  In May of 2010, for their 50th class reunion, they were able to present their first scholarship to a graduating BHS senior.  The student selected each year must be in good academic standing and the award is given after completion of a semester of college.  The Class of 1960 is happy to endow an ongoing $1,000 scholarship and believes that BCSC has an excellent reputation for administering scholarship funds.


As the Berlin High School class of 1963 began planning for their 50th class reunion, they decided to establish an endowment of $10,000 that would provide for an ongoing scholarship (minimum of $500) to a graduating BHS senior.  They presented their very first scholarship that year and they encourage and challenge other class alumni to also consider giving back to the community through scholarships.


When Connie Curran graduated from Berlin High School in 1965, she knew exactly what she wanted to do-attend UW Madison and become a nurse.  There was an obstacle, though.  She needed financial aid and received it in the form of several local scholarships.  Those scholarships, although not big by today’s standards, helped her achieve her goal.  More importantly, those scholarships became the impetus for Curran’s generosity 43 years later when she contacted Jean Dretske, President of BCSC, in 2008 to establish a named scholarship to be awarded annually.

Ms. Curran, not only achieved her goal of becoming a nurse, but later became the first woman dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Later, she went on to found her own healthcare company, served as the founding executive director of C-Change, a national organization dedicated to eradicating cancer, and continued to serve as a national health consultant and speaker.

Ms Curran believed in giving back to one’s community.  “We are all given time, talent and treasure,” she said, “ and it’s up to us to pass those on, whether it’s writing a check or volunteering our time.”  “Everyone has the opportunity to give back in some way.  For me, giving scholarships allows me to express the hope that young women will develop their leadership skills and change the world.”  Before her passing in 2014, Ms.Curran had made provision in her will for an endowed scholarship to continue on in her name. The Connie Curran Estate $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a high school graduating senior woman displaying academic and leadership skills.


Drexel Building Supply, formerly Berlin Building Supply, has given an annual scholarship since 2002 to a graduating senior with an interest in the building trades.


When Eva B. Smith, a lifelong educator, passed away in July 2000 she left a legacy which will live on for many years in the form of scholarships to Berlin area students.  Miss Smith was a public school teacher and principal for many years.  Then from 1967 until her retirement she was a school psychologist for Cooperative Education Services Agency 13 (CESA).  In the 1970’s and 1980’s she worked in the Berlin School District.

Eva Smith held education in high regard and left a substantial portion of her estate to the Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation.  This contribution will provide scholarships totaling approximately $11,000 a year to be awarded in her name for many years to come.  In the past fourteen years 147 Eva B. Smith scholarships have been awarded to Berlin area students.


Farmers and Merchants Bank is a full-service, community bank that supports its customers, treating them like family with industry leading tools and technology.  Founded in 1940 and run by the Kujawa family ever since, the compassionate family leadership structure gives the business the ability to offer flexible banking in a unique way. 

Farmers and Merchants offers two types of scholarships.  One is for students who have completed their first year of college and who choose to continue working toward their college degree.  These students must be in good academic standing and the scholarship is designed to help alleviate book fees and tuition costs.  It is awarded annually to two students with each recipient receiving a $1,000 scholarship.  The second type of scholarship is offered to graduating high school seniors who have chosen to continue their education by attending college.  Again, criteria includes good academic standing as well as community involvement.  These scholarships are awarded annually to 6-10 students with each receiving a $500 scholarship. 

Farmers and Merchants chose BCSC to administer the scholarships because they knew the application process and distribution of funds would proceed smoothly.


Fortifi Bank has been Growin’ Wisconsin for more than 140 years – one person, one business, one relationship at a time. With locations in Berlin, Green Lake, Montello, Westfield, Omro, Winneconne, Green Bay, and Waunakee, they take great pride in every facet of the communities they serve. Whether it is a first checking account, a new home, a retirement fund, a refinance package, or starting a business, Fortifi Bank makes the process easy and understandable with your future in mind.

They also understand the importance of education and financial literacy. By working with local schools, Fortifi Bank reaches thousands of local students and helps them develop valuable financial skills. Each year, they offer two $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Fortifi Bank supports BCSC, which aligns with their values.


In 1944 Howard and Earl Kolpin started a business in Berlin they called Kolpin Brothers company.  It was Howard’s idea to make products he could use for hunting, archery, and other outdoor activities.  He handled all aspects of the business other than sales, which Earl was in charge of.  The products were originally made in leather but later also in fabric and vinyl.  The first 15 years were devoted to the manufacture of gun cases, but over time expanded to include rod and reel cases, billiard cue cases, holster lines, bow cases, quivers, arm guards, gloves, camo products, rifle slings and straps, bowling bags, duffel bags, seat cushions, and hundreds of additional products.  Kolpin Manufacturing now has sales reps throughout the United States and around the world, and has become a leader in the hunting and shooting industry. 

Howard passed away in 1992. Seven years later, to honor his memory,  his widow Avis created a scholarship in his name, Avis has since passed away but made provisions in her will for this $5,000 scholarship is to be awarded annually to a college student with a major in business from their estate.


Harold Klassa was a graduate of the Berlin High School class of 1941.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  After being honorably discharged from the service he became a licensed meat cutter.  After retiring from meat cutting he worked for several years at the Berlin Foundry. 

His true passion was local politics and he became a member of the Berlin School Board, serving eight years and being elected school board president for part of that time.  He then served as alderman for the fifth ward from 1963 to 2005.  During that time he was elected Berlin Mayor from 1977-1985 and from 1993-1997.  As an alderman and mayor, Harold considered the best interests of the citizens of Berlin his number one priority.  “Harry Klassa Day” was proclaimed on June 11, 2005 to recognize his 42 years of service to the community. 

Family and friends are providing an annual scholarship of $500 to be presented to a graduating high school senior in his name.  The Klassa family feels that since their father was so active in local politics, that a scholarship in his name was something he would have been proud of.


Joshua Lesniak graduated from Berlin High School in 2005 and was swept away by an avalanche in 2014 while snowmobiling with friends in Colorado.   Josh was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.  He was also a Master Certified Automotive Technician and enjoyed working on anything mechanical.  Josh would say that his favorite place in the whole world was on top of the mountains.  He’d say “Go big or go home” and he lived just that way through the last day of his life.  Family and friends are providing an annual named scholarship to a graduating senior in his memory.


Sandra Lother taught business classes at Berlin High School for 28 years and her husband Tom was an accountant and office manager at the Berlin Fabrication Company and Foundry and its successor companies.  Sandra was part of the original committee that laid the framework for the Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation beginning in 1984.  She continued as a BCSC board member until her retirement from teaching in 1998.  At that time Sandra and Tom moved to Casco, Wisconsin to enjoy their retirement.  They live on a farm that has been in her family for over 100 years.  Sandra says “Berlin schools and BCSC have a special place in my heart” and she and Tom are pleased to be able to help students complete their college educations with an annual scholarship. 


Lonnie and Adeline Nohr lived and worked in Berlin for many years.  Lonnie was a pattern maker at Berlin Foundry and Adeline was a nurse at the Berlin Memorial Hospital. The Nohr’s wanted to provide assistance to college students, enrolled in medical studies, as they completed their education.  Adeline stated that college costs continued to rise and she knew many students struggled to pay those costs.  Lonnie passed away in 1994 and Adeline in 1997, they had included Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation in their estate planning in order to provide scholarships according to their wishes. Since 1998, two $1000 scholarships have been awarded annually to nursing students in their names.


Harlo Paulsen grew up on the family farm just east of Redgranite.  Harlo was educated in the Berlin School system, he was a good student and loved being a part of the football team.  He graduated from Berlin High School in 1962. He attended UW-River Falls for almost two years, returning home to help run the family farm when his father became ill.  His Dad passed away at age 52, making it impossible for Harlo to complete his college degree.  When Harlo passed away in 2009, a good friend suggested establishing a scholarship in Harlo’s name.  His family and friends meet each fall, near the time of Harlo’s birthday, to share memories and contribute to the scholarship.  It was agreed the scholarship should be awarded to a student pursuing studies in agriculture since Harlo was “always a farmer at heart.”

Ralph & Sophie Redemann Memorial Scholarship

Ralph and Sophie Redemann were two life-long Berlin area residents.  Ralph graduated with the Berlin High School class of 1938 and later enlisted in the Army proudly serving during World War II.  For most of his working career he was an employee of the Berlin Tannery.  Sophie graduated with the Berlin High School class of 1936.  She started working as a stitcher at several different Berlin “fur and leather” companies and many years later retired as a nursing assistant from Juliette Manor.  After retirement they spent many hours enjoying the activities at and volunteering at the Berlin Senior Center, as well as traveling to various locations throughout the United States.

In their memory this scholarship has been established by their daughter, Donna Redemann Bersch, Berlin High School class of 1968 and son in law Carl Bersch.  Donna is a retired Fox Valley Technical College Instructor who believes, as her parents did, in the importance of education and the value of a good teacher, the scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating senior entering the field of education.


Former elementary educator, Ruth Blasé, left provision in her will for ongoing scholarships to be awarded through the Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation. Ruth and her husband, Dick, lived in the Berlin School District. Beginning in 2000 an annual scholarship in their names has been awarded to a college student as they complete their post high school education.


Ruth Krause, a longtime elementary teacher in Berlin, was the first person to establish a named scholarship through the Berlin Community Scholarship Corporation.  Upon her retirement in 1985 she established the Ruth Krause Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating high school senior attending college to become a teacher.  After her husband, Fred, passed away Ruth chose to add his name to the scholarship to honor him.


Thrivent Financial has provided scholarships since 2013. David & Sara Shattuck, Cathy Hargrave and Sarah Kasuboski proudly contribute to this scholarship. The Berlin Thrivent team feels strongly about the importance of education. They are passionate about helping others, and giving back to the community. Assisting in helping local Berlin area students pay for college is a natural choice for them.

The student receiving this scholarship is ideally leaning toward a degree in Business and or Finance. The Thrivent team is pleased to offer this $1,000 scholarship annually to a graduating Berlin High School senior.


The Walker Agency is owned and operated by the third generation of Walkers.  Greg Walker and his wife, Michelle, who is a teacher at Berlin High School recognize the importance of education and award a graduating senior with a scholarship annually to put towards their college education.