Friends Create Scholarship in Honor of Late Friend


Photo submitted by Ben Hertel

Best friends Ben Hertel (left), Grant Richman, Preston Pethan and Jerad Wagner pose as the hilarious newscast buddies from ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’ (2004) during their senior year at CHS.

Shianne Berger

The Grant Timothy Richman Memorial Scholarship is a scholarship in memory of Grant Richman, a CHS Class of 2014 alumnus, and his giving personality to the community. It was established in 2018 by his close childhood friends and rewards one student a $750 college scholarship.

Ben Hertel, Jerad Wagner and Preston Pethan — all members of CHS’s Class of 2014 — created the scholarship to honor Richman’s legacy of kindness and good will.

“Grant was an incredible person. He was a loving son, brother, best friend — among many other things,” said Hertel. “Grant loved the outdoors, and that’s where he was the happiest. His true love was his cabin up in northern Wisconsin, and I got lucky enough to go up every year from seventh grade on.”

While the four friends were close throughout middle school, they became “inseparable” early on in high school when Grant regularly invited the others to his family’s cabin, according to Hertel.

“We did everything together, and our bond continued through college,” said Hertel. “Grant loved surprising us and would randomly show up to La Crosse — where myself, Preston, and Jerad went to school — for a long weekend.”

Richman attended UW-Madison and was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology. He was a senior at the time of his death in April of 2018, with plans to enter the nursing program.

“He also loved his time with his niece and took great joy in connecting his family with his friends,” said Hertel. “I can’t even begin to count how many dinners we shared with the Richman family in their home or at the cabin. Grant also loved music and took pride in listening to some of the weirdest EDM (electronic dance music) and hipster music I’ve ever heard.”

“I started this scholarship for a few reasons. First and foremost, I wanted my friend’s loving and giving personality to continue on,” said Hertel. “Grant was an amazing person. He donated his time on the weekends to the homeless and would give them food and extra money he had. He loved and cared about everyone unconditionally, regardless of anything. As a group of best friends, we have always taken care of each other, and this is another way we are taking care of Granty.”

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, a student must excel in the classroom, maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 Academic GPA, and attend a secondary education institution. In addition, they must be heavily involved with extracurricular activities at CHS, show a constant care for all others, be involved in the community of Chilton and show the qualities of a strong leader.

Applicants have to write a one to two page essay, either typed or written, introducing themselves and explaining how they fulfill all the requirements. They should emphasize their involvement in the community and within CHS as well as their leadership experiences. The applicants must include their name, their anticipated major and their college choice.

Applicants should then attach their essay to the introductory sheet found on the CHS Student Services webpage ( under “Scholarships” and turn their completed application in to the CHS office by 3:30 p.m. on March 29. Lastly, the applicants must show proof of enrollment in a two or four year college.