Scholarship created to honor 2 nuns killed in Mississippi

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Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Mississippi University for Women is creating a scholarship to honor two slain nuns who worked as nurse practitioners in one of the poorest parts of the nation.

The Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill Graduate Nursing Scholarship will be given to a graduate nursing student who works in an underserved area or does charitable work.

Held and Merrill were both graduates of MUW’s nursing program. The university says Held earned a master’s degree in 1994, and Merrill earned a bachelor’s degree in 1988.

They worked at a clinic in Holmes County, Mississippi, and were found stabbed to death Aug. 25 in their Durant home. Forty-six-year-old Rodney Earl Sanders of Kosciusko, Mississippi, is charged in their slayings.

Funerals were held Friday in Kentucky for Merrill and in Wisconsin for Held.

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