Charles “Chuck” N. Bracht and Cheryl A. Verlander enrich the Verlander-Bracht Scholarship Endowed Fund, supporting students who are pursuing master’s degrees at the School of Social Work.

A Tulane University alumna who has dedicated her life to counseling patients with mental illness is now giving back further to the university with a $1 million bequest to the School of Social Work.

 The estate gift from social worker Cheryl A. Verlander (NC ’70, SW ’75) and her husband, Charles “Chuck” N. Bracht, will bolster the Verlander-Bracht Scholarship Endowed Fund, which they created in 2008 to support students, especially Tulane alumni, who are pursuing master’s degrees at the School of Social Work.

Charles “Chuck” N. Bracht and Cheryl A. Verlander in the French Quarter
Charles “Chuck” N. Bracht (left) and Cheryl A. Verlander have made a $1 million bequest to the Verlander-Bracht Scholarship Endowed Fund.

Verlander, who practices at the Hauser Clinic in Houston, has forged an extensive career in health and mental health sectors. She is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Social Work and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and the Tulane Social Work Dean’s Advisory Council.

“The Tulane School of Social Work provided me with the education and clinical experience that facilitated my long and rewarding career,” Verlander said. “I would like the scholarship to educate mental health professionals. Social workers do the lion’s share of mental health work, and I want to help further educate people to fill that need.”

Tulane President Michael A. Fitts noted that the gift arrives as the demand for social workers is increasing.

“With the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, as well as other stressors such as economic uncertainty and the continued mental health crisis in our country, the need for social workers is urgent and growing,” Fitts said. “We are so grateful for the longtime support Cheryl and Chuck have provided to Tulane and for this latest gift that will educate a new generation of social workers to help heal a hurting world.”

School of Social Work Dean Patrick S. Bordnick thanked the couple for their forward-thinking donation.
“Cheryl and Chuck’s affinity for the school and our students is heartfelt,” he said. “Their scholarship gift will provide outstanding opportunities for other social workers to follow in Cheryl’s footsteps and make a difference in behavioral health in medical centers as well as local community clinics.”

The couple has also supported Newcomb-Tulane College, the schools of Architecture and Science and Engineering, the Green Wave Club, and other areas of the university. They joined the President’s Council and the Houston National Campaign Council, which supports Only the Audacious, The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane.