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Nursing a vision

Students make rare gift to nursing school

Students make rare gift to nursing school

YouTube video (7 min 17 sec)

Photo: UC Davis nursing school classes assembled for photo

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing’s inaugural classes — pictured above — surprised school leaders by announcing the establishment of an Inaugural Classes Endowed Scholarship to provide scholarships to future students.

(courtesy photo)

by Jenny Carrick

Alumni often make financial donations to their alma mater in support of future students. But it’s rare when students still in school provide such contributions.

It’s even more unusual when they do so within the first month of enrollment.

This is what happened when 33 students in the inaugural classes at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing decided not to wait until graduation to show their support. They surprised school leaders recently when they announced the establishment of an Inaugural Classes Endowed Scholarship to provide scholarships to future students. Each one pledged support, and collectively they raised $43,000.

“You truly are a first-class, first class,” Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean, told the students.

Terri Wolf, a UC Davis Health System nurse and member of the Master of Science class, made the surprise announcement at the nursing school’s dedication and inaugural ceremony Oct. 8. In doing so, she and her fellow classmates were eager to demonstrate their appreciation for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s financial support. The foundation’s $100 million commitment to launch the new nursing school enabled each student enrolled in the inaugural classes to receive generous financial support.

Support covers fees and stipend

Each of the 25 master’s degree students is receiving $33,500, while each of the eight doctoral students is receiving $240,000. The support fully covers fees for California residents with the remainder intended as a stipend to help offset the students’ loss of income while concentrating on studies.

“We wanted to follow this lead set by the foundation and start giving back to the next generation of nurse leaders right away,” Wolf said. “Why should we wait to be asked for support after we graduate, when we can demonstrate our gratitude and commitment to this school right now?”

The students’ generous gift coincides with the recent public launch of the Campaign for UC Davis — an initiative to raise $1 billion in philanthropic support from 100,000 donors. The university’s first comprehensive campaign lays the groundwork for transformational contributions to society during UC Davis’ second century. Through philanthropic gifts from friends, partners and supporters worldwide, UC Davis is building its capacity to advance excellence, innovation, public service, opportunity and quality of life.

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi expressed gratitude for the generosity of the students.

“Our inaugural class of 33 students surprised us all by giving back to the university,” the chancellor said. “They are so grateful that they have been able to attend this amazing new nursing school, thanks to the Gordon and Betty Moore’s Foundation grant. This is a wonderful example of UC Davis at its best, an example of the spirit of gratitude and selflessness that is at the heart of this campus.”

Young said the students’ gift spoke volumes about their commitment to sparking nurse leadership.

“This scholarship fund is one more indication of these inaugural classes’ commitment to the vision and mission of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing,” Young said. “It is an unprecedented move for students to make such a statement and investment. It highlights their leadership and ability to see beyond themselves to the future.”

Jenny Carrick is the senior director of communications for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

This article was originally published on the UC Davis website.