Veterans and Gator Nurse alumni establish MSC Patriot Award

McFarlane and Tokash
McFarlane (right) with MSC Patriot Award recipient Terry Tokash.

This Veterans’ Day, the UF College of Nursing salutes the three veterans and Gator Nurse alumni who established the MSC Patriot Award, which provides scholarship assistance to nursing students with a military affiliation.

When Neil F. McFarlane (MSN 1999, BSN 1994), Erik C. Cline (BSN 1994) and Price St. Hilaire (BSN 1994), attended the College of Nursing 24 years ago, they didn’t know then the impact they would have on students today. Together the alumni, along with Mcfarlane’s wife, Karen, formed The MSC Patriot Award. All three served in the military and received scholarship assistance themselves, so the Patriot Award was their way to stay connected to the college, give back and contribute to a great cause.  Along with Neil’s wife, Karen, these alumni are paying it forward.

“The military provided me with an environment where I could continuously feed my desire to learn and accomplish what seemed like impossible tasks,” McFarland said. “Taking that experience into my professional life has made a tremendous impact on my career.”

The scholarship is awarded to students who fit the selection criteria, with a heavy emphasis on the student’s military affiliation, either through a family member, service or strong affirmation.

“We are so happy to have this opportunity to share with current students what a fantastic foundation the College of Nursing is and how it provides for students,” said Erik.

“We were all fortunate to have various forms of assistance to help ends meet while we were nursing students,” McFarlane said. “Giving back was just a matter of time. I have also had the opportunity to meet several of these Gator Nursing scholarship recipients at the college’s Donor Recognition Event. Meeting them continues to reinforce the need to give back to the next generation of nurses.”

Visit if you would like to contribute to the MSC Patriot Award this Veterans’ Day.