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Anonymous donor contributes $1 million to Nursing School

The Nursing School's largest donation ever - a $1 million dollar anonymous gift - will be used to fund a Centennial Distinguished Professorship in pediatric nursing.

"This gift is a tremendous milestone for the nursing school," said Linda Davies, assistant vice president for health system development and nursing.

It will help bring a nurse leader in pediatrics to the University, Davies said.

Such a leader would have a wide range of positive effects, according to administrators at the nursing school.

"This person will assist us in attracting junior faculty and graduate students who want to work with this person," Davies said.

In addition to bringing in competitive faculty and students, the professor hired with the gift would be expected to do research and clinical work.

This gift has the potential "to really make a difference in the care of children," Davies said.

With such a wide range of benefits, Nursing School Dean Jeanette Lancaster said she hopes the gift will help put the school into the top-10 nursing schools nationally - the University's Master's program is now ranked 21st in the nation and undergraduate nursing programs are not ranked.

"Our goal is to move our school into the top 10," Lancaster said.

The good teachers, good researchers and experience in clinical practices that this gift will bring will help accomplish that goal, she said.

The nursing school plans to search for a professor to fill the position in the fall. The school also will be looking to hire two other professors to fill positions that are funded at the $500,000 level.

In summarizing the gift's effects, Lancaster said, "Students, money and recognition - that's about as good as it gets."

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