(L-R) Judy Liesveld, PhD, RN, PPCNP-BC, CNE, FAAN, dean of the SON, Class of 1966 graduates Mary Anne Werhle, Sharon Grider and Lynn Ward.EDWARDSVILLE - Graduates from the School of Nursing (SON) Class of 1966 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville led a successful fundraising campaign to fully endow the Nursing Heritage Scholarship Endowment, a scholarship for traditional nursing students in perpetuity.

Class of 1966 graduates, Sharon Grider, Barb Wagner, Mary Anne Wehrle, and Lynn Ward, sharing deep pride in the remarkable growth and success of their alma mater, asked fellow alumni and friends from the first five classes from the SON to join them in establishing a scholarship that would secure their legacy and impact on the future of nursing.

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“Prospective qualified students of all economic levels must have the opportunity to attain college education in their chosen field,” said Grider. “Who better to help them than those who have gone before them. Students need a quality education to be prepared to meet the challenges in nursing and I trust this scholarship will enable others to do just that at SIUE’s SON.”

“I am proud to be a member of the first class to graduate from the SIUE SON as we had a unique experience and were part of setting the successful program in motion,” said Ward. “I am so impressed with the progress of the SON and its programs.”

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“This is very important to indicate support for current and future nursing students,” Wehrle added. “Interaction between SON alumni and new students allows for perspectives to be shared from both generations.”

A recognition and dedication event was held on Monday, Oct. 17 to honor and thank the campaign leaders and all donors for a remarkable and meaningful philanthropic accomplishment. Honored guests enjoyed a tour of the Simulated Learning Center, lunch and conversation with faculty and students, then engaged in a question-and-answer session with senior nursing students. The Nursing Heritage Scholarship Endowment plaque that lists the names of each donor was dedicated that day and will be displayed in the School of Nursing for all to see.

“The SON is grateful for the philanthropic leadership of our first graduating class of 1966 in developing the Nursing Heritage Scholarship Endowment,” said Judy Liesveld, PhD, RN, PPCNP-BC, CNE, FAAN, dean of the SON. “These women were true pioneers in the School’s history. They each had rich amazing careers and have so much professional expertise to offer our students. Their generous scholarship is a lasting gift that will benefit many of our nursing students."

The School of Nursing’s programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs on the Edwardsville campus help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education. To learn more contact Patti McDonald, Senior Director of Development, School of Nursing at pmcdona@siue.edu or 618-650-3906.

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