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Lois J. Taurman Endowed Scholarship

Lois Taurman doesn’t think of herself as an inspiration. But it’s nearly impossible to hear her story - standout Bellarmine athlete is paralyzed in a catastrophic accident, then earns three advanced degrees and represents the U.S.A. in the Paralympics - and not be inspired by the way she has handled what would have crushed many people.

Her willingness to help others is also inspiring. Recently, she and her mother, Bonna, established and endowed a scholarship for female athletes. The first award from the Lois J. Taurman Endowed Scholarship Fund was divided this spring between two athletes.

Lois, who attended Bellarmine on scholarships, wants to give other women “the same tremendous experience that I had, and the strength of the education that I received at Bellarmine.”

Lois was the only athlete in the history of Bellarmine College to participate in three intercollegiate sports – basketball, volleyball and softball – in each of her four undergraduate years. Following her 1983 graduation, she entered the Lansing School of Nursing. But just six weeks shy of her nursing degree, she fell from a ladder and broke her neck.

She never considered giving up. She completed her degree in May 1985 – then earned a master’s in education counseling from the University of Louisville and a law degree from the Brandeis School of Law. She started a law practice in 1999. While in rehab, she took up wheelchair racing, eventually making the United States International Disabled Team.

She is a member of the Bellarmine Hall of Fame and was named Alumna of the Year in 2006, the same year the NCAA presented her with its “Inspiration Award.”

There’s that word again. But it’s not her word. “I’m just plugging away, playing the hand that was dealt to me,” she says. And now, giving others a helping hand.