The Nursing Scholarship program was selected as the major project of the TEA in 1956, as a means to relieve a critical shortage of nurses in Tennessee. The need for nursing scholarships is just as important today. In 2011, the TN Elks funded 63 varying levels of scholarships to students. Our graduation and GPA levels are outstanding. Yet there are many deserving students that we cannot reach with our current level of funding.
The Tennessee Elks Benevolent Trust (TEBT) is a nonprofit Tennessee Corporation governed by comprehensive by-laws which provide for a President, Vice President, Secretary, Pledge Secretary, Board of Directors and several committees to administer its programs and business affairs. Elks from Tennessee Lodges fill all positions on a voluntary basis (in keeping with the volunteer state). Equal representation is accomplished through Board and Committee quotas for each of Tennessee's three (3) Districts. The TEBT is a subsidiary of its parent corporation, the Tennessee Elks Association (TEA), of which all Tennessee Elks are members. The voting and participation rights of Tennessee Elks are the same for the TEA and TEBT.
The TEBT holds midyear and annual meetings in addition to committee and special meetings as the need arises. A distinctive feature of the TEBT is the provision for a permanent Financial Corpus. All contributions to the TEBT are forever held in trust and all of the investment earnings of the Trust are used to carry out the TEBT major project. Consequently, every contribution serves as a renewable resource to student nurses in Tennessee. Along with the earnings of the Corpus, the TEA provides support from the annual dues of each TN Elk. The Elks National Foundation (ENF) makes an annual gift to the TEA for use in supporting the Scholarships.
TEBT scholarship application forms are distributed to Tennessee Elks Lodges in early October and they distribute them to High School guidance counselors, colleges and hospitals within the jurisdiction of each Lodge. Applications must be submitted to the Lodge as directed, usually in January. After judging, winners are notified in April or May. In managing the scholarship, the award is paid directly to the student's school of choice. The student then may draw against an account for allowable expenses such as tuition, books, lab fees and dormitory expense. For more information go to the State Major Project website and select the TEBT link.