For biology major Erin Mortimer, a scholarship means the difference between being a good student and being a great student. She came to Illinois State knowing she wanted to go into veterinary medicine, not only for a love of helping animals but of people as well.

“If you’re working with small animals, you are treating someone’s best friend. If you’re helping the animals, you are also helping people,” Mortimer said. “Also vaccinating animals affects public health and helps people. I love the idea of that.”

But competition for veterinary schools can be tough, and she knew the way to set herself apart was to make the most of her time at Illinois State. She interned at a local animal hospital, had leadership roles in the Pre-vet Club, attended symposiums, and even found a spot on a research group experimenting on a compound found in coral that could be used to cure cancer. Such a roster of activities left little room for a part-time job, which is why the Dr. Fred Gletten Memorial Scholarship has been vital to her success.

“The Dr. Fred Gletten Memorial Scholarship helped me because I can work fewer hours to sustain myself and can do research, be more active in my club, volunteer, and focus on activities that are key to being accepted into vet school,” she said.

The scholarship not only allowed her to focus on becoming a prime candidate for veterinary school, it also gave her the confidence to seek additional funding.

“When I started as a freshman, I applied for many scholarships but was not awarded any. Receiving this one encouraged me to apply for others.”

The Dr. Fred Gletten Memorial Scholarship was established to pave the way for future scientists yearning to make a contribution to the institution of medicine. Dr. Gletten established the scholarship as part of his contribution to the University, which helped nurture his foundation in science and challenge his scientific reasoning. Gletten is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. His son, Fred, is a student at Illinois State.

The personal stories of gratitude shared by these students are increasingly the norm at Illinois State University, as more alumni and friends of Illinois State make an investment in the University’s programs and people. Every gift received has a positive impact. Private support reveals each donor’s passion, while fueling the passion of students whose college experience is either made possible through financial assistance or further enriched because campus offerings are bolstered. State your Passion today by making a contribution online at, calling (309) 438-8041, or sending an email to