New scholarship to honor memory of “vibrant” MCC dental instructor


Marilyn Burdick
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A new scholarship will honor the memory of an MCC employee who left a lasting, positive impression on the college Dental Program.

Marilyn Burdick

Marilyn Burdick was an instructor for the MCC Dental Programs. The Marilyn Burdick Memorial Scholarship will help future MCC dental students pay for college.

MCC Instructor Marilyn Burdick’s life was stolen from her in June 2013, when she was murdered by a man she met online. The murderer was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Burdick was a much-loved faculty member in the MCC Dental Program.  

“She was vibrant, energetic and kind,” said Tracy Gift, director of MCC dental programs. “At Marilyn’s celebration of life, many former and current students commented on how instrumental she was in their lives, because she had a wonderful ability to help the students believe in themselves and achieve their goals.” 

Burdick’s family donated $30,000 to create the Marilyn Burdick Memorial Scholarship Endowment to honor her memory and help future MCC dental hygiene students.

“My mom always valued education and believed it’s one of the most important aspects of someone’s success in life,” said Karen Bender, Marilyn’s daughter. “Most of all, she loved caring for others and found great joy in helping people improve their dental health.”

Marilyn Burdick got an early start in the dental field by assisting at a local dental office in her hometown of Plainfield, Illinois shortly after she graduated high school.

In 1982 she received her dental hygiene degree, and then in 1998 moved to Las Vegas where in the 2000 she married her husband, Tony.

After Tony retired, they built their dream home in a private airport community in Fort Mohave.  He and Marilyn were both private pilots and traveled many places in the U.S. in their airplane. They most enjoyed exploring the picturesque landscape of the Southwest, according to their family.  Tony passed away in 2006.

Karen and her husband, Jason Bender, set up the scholarship endowment in large part because of Marilyn’s love for educating students in the dental program.

“We want this scholarship to extend the value she placed on education and her contributions to the dental field and Mohave Community College,” said Bender.

Dental faculty group

Marilyn Burdick and some of the MCC Dental Program faculty, staff and students.

The scholarship will support MCC Dental Hygiene program students by awarding one student a year with $1,500 to help pay for their education.  

Along with the scholarship, the memory of Marilyn still lives on at the college dental program because of a phrase she frequently used, according to Gift.

“Marilyn’s favorite catch phrase was, ‘air is your friend’, which she would say to encourage students to use compressed air to dry the surface of teeth in order to see tartar,” said Gift. “And now every day, our current clinical instructors, several who were taught by Marilyn, can be heard saying those exact words to our students.”

If you are interested in applying for the Marilyn Burdick Memorial Scholarship you will need to write an essay for the Scholarship Committee, explaining your motivation and desire to pursue higher education.  The names of those selected by the committee will be provided to Karen and Jason Bender for review and approval.

The first scholarship will be awarded to a student for the Fall 2018 semester. Students are encouraged to contact the MCC Financial Aid Office for application information at 1-866-664-2832 or 1-866-MOHAVECC.

If you would like to donate to the Marilyn Burdick Memorial Scholarship, or any other MCC scholarship fund, contact the MCC Foundation at 928-757-0846 or email