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First Nursing Class Receives Scholarships
Photo: Supporters Harriett and Joe FosterEvery member of the first class of the University of St. Thomas School of Nursing received a scholarship, thanks to the generosity of many donors. Nearly $200,000 was awarded to 32 nursing students, with most awards at $5,000 or more. The scholarship recipients will begin their nursing studies on May 29, 2012, a date that marks the official reopening of the UST School of Nursing.

Donors who attended the event included Harriet and Joe Foster, trustees Robert C. Wilson III and Dr. Annette Edens of the John M. O’Quinn Foundation, Ruth and Clarence Metzger, Vince D’Amico,, Dr. Poldi Tschirch, and Diane and Stan Paur. The Strake Foundation, Lowenstein Foundation, Fish Foundation, Azar and Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand and the Wild Family also generously contributed nursing scholarships.

The Associated Nursing Alumni hosted the scholarship award ceremony at its annual luncheon held April 21 at the Junior League of Houston Ballroom.

The Associated Nursing Alumni members, who are graduates of Dominican College, St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and the University of St. Thomas, have provided scholarships to nursing students for more than 20 years. The association will direct future scholarships to UST nursing students.

Photo: Student Elizabeth Ciocco and Dr. Poldi Tschirch“We are truly grateful to the donors whose incredible generosity made it possible for us to provide every nursing student with a scholarship at the start of their nursing coursework this summer,” said Dr. Poldi Tschirch, dean of the School of Nursing. “The students were amazed and inspired by the level of support and encouragement they received from both scholarship donors and the members of the Associated Nursing Alumni. This event clearly illustrated how many supporters the UST School of Nursing and the students have within the University, the Alumni Association and the Houston community.”

In addition to scholarships, ANA is involved in mentoring students through the Nursing Success Center. ANA has donated $1.2 million since February 2011 to establish the Sister Mary Martina Casey Endowed Chair in Nursing, and with additional donations, the chair is nearing the $2 million goal. This endowed chair is part of the University’s campaign to endow six chairs in nursing. Currently, five endowed chairs have been funded along with the establishment of five endowed scholarships.

Tschirch holds the Carol and Odis Peavy Endowed Chair in Nursing, and the Peavys were recognized at the luncheon for their vision and leadership in the effort to bring nursing back to St. Thomas. A picture of the Peavys will be permanently displayed in the School of Nursing.
Emphasizing the care of the whole person – body, mind and spirit – the School of Nursing will focus on patient-centered nursing using a newly-developed curriculum based on a construct of healing and wholeness. The program received approval and accreditation in 2011 from the Texas Board of Nursing and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about supporting the Sister Mary Martina Casey Endowed Chair in Nursing, contact Debbye Crofoot-Morley at 713-525-3109, or learn more about the School of Nursing:

Pictured, top: Supporters Harriett and Joe Foster; bottom: Student Elizabeth Ciocco and Dr. Poldi Tschirch.

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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