Raymond and Velma Merkle Scholarship

The Raymond and Velma Merkle Scholarship supports students from Manual High School who are active in their school and community.


  • Graduating from Manual High School during the current academic school year
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75
  • Will be a first-generation college student (i.e. a student whose parents and grandparents did not graduate from college, students with siblings who are in college or who have graduated from college are eligible for this scholarship)
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or Student Aid Index (SAI) of $10,000 or less
  • Currently active in their school or community
  • Planning to attend a trade school, technical school, community college, or a 4-year accredited college in Colorado


Scholarships will be awarded once a year through a competitive process based on: 

  • financial need 
  • scholastic potential  
  • academics 
  • extracurricular activities and leadership  
  • references 

Additional information

Scholarship awards can be used toward tuition, fees, required books and supplies, room and board, and other required educational expenses. Funds can be used beginning in the upcoming academic year for part-time or full-time study at an accredited post-secondary school in Colorado. If you cannot utilize your funds within one year of awarding, contact The Denver Foundation to discuss your situation.

All scholarship awards will be paid directly to a recipient’s educational institution. Award disbursement is contingent upon the outside scholarship acceptance policies of a recipient’s college or university.

How to apply 

  1. Read through the eligibility to confirm you meet the requirements for the scholarship opportunity 
  2. Prepare and submit the following items: 
    1. Resume 
    2. Transcript 
    3. One essay 
      1. Where and how do you show leadership in your day-to-day life/activities? 
    4. One community letter of recommendation 

Photo credit: Manual High School

Raymond And Velma Merkle

About the donor

Raymond (Ray) Merkle was born on January 22, 1904, in Golden Colorado. Velma Burkhart was born in Missouri on October 10, 1910 and moved to Denver when she was 4 years old. Both Ray and Velma received their education in the Denver Public School system. After graduating from Manual High School, Velma continued on to the Colorado State Teachers College (known now as the University of Northern Colorado).

Ray and Velma were married in 1929 in Greeley, Colorado. Ray was employed by the First National Bank of Denver for 37 years and was an active Mason. He died at the age of 57 from leukemia. After Ray’s death, Velma worked for the Colorado Game and Fish Department for 21 years before retiring.

Velma was motivated to establish this scholarship because of Ray and Velma’s commitment to each other and their gratitude for the education they received. Though they never had children of their own, it was Velma’s hope that this fund would help a few students each year to pay for some of their higher education expenses. This was Velma’s way of giving back to the Denver community that she so dearly loved. Velma passed away on January 1, 2006.