A call to action by June 30

A message from the director of development

April 7, 2021
John Kilbride

In the past year, lifelong lessons have been shared in and outside the classrooms. Many parents are managing dual roles of “homeroom” teachers and go-to moms and dads. We learned that hugs and handshakes can’t be taken for granted and time spent with grandkids and family is even more precious than we thought. A brighter spotlight fell on the nation’s health disparities and numbers told stories of loss, recovery and miraculous discovery. And there at the center of it all are nurses.

When we launched the Empowering Health Campaign, our goals were to remove financial barriers for our students, attract and retain the exceptional faculty, and be recognized as one of the top nursing schools for research. We were driven by the nursing shortage, projected to reach 500,000 by 2030—and the realization that 56% of our faculty were eligible for retirement in the next 10 years. And of course, the average student debt load of nearly $43,000 served as inspiration to do better, be better.

We have only four months to raise $4 million and reach our goal of $45 million. We are blessed by having received gifts from more than 7,800 benefactors. This number continues to amaze us but even more amazing are the stories that have motivated each of them to make a philanthropic investment in our school, our mission. Here are a few stories that I will remember:

  • One of our very own faculty members helped establish the School of Nursing Student Emergency Fund
  • A benefactor from Wisconsin added to an endowed scholarship in her mom’s name by naming the School of Nursing as a beneficiary of her IRA as well as making a gift of appreciated stock
  • A benefactor couple from the Twin Cities added to a scholarship they established three years ago at the encouragement of one of our School of Nursing Foundation Board members
  • A benefactor from North Carolina helped establish a scholarship in the name of her sister in law who passed away several years ago
  • 3 benefactors, none of whom are School of Nursing alums, created an endowment to honor one of our faculty and staff
  • One of our alums in Virginia was able to get their gift matched through her former employer
  • A faculty member from another university in Japan helped create an endowment that will provide annual financial awards for outstanding research

Your annual gift, your gift in memory of a loved one, your gift in honor of a favorite faculty member all matter and can help us achieve our goal.

To think that we are helping carry on the name and legacy of these alums and friends and thousands of others is inspiring to me and I hope it is to you, too.

I look forward to achieving our goal of $45 million with you and our benefactors who see our mission as a powerful solution to the future of health care and stronger communities. With humble gratitude for your work every day to make our school and university stronger.


Tags: Development