UMd. School of Nursing to expand scholarship program with largest-ever donation

The University of Maryland School of Nursing has received a nearly $14 million donation, the largest in the institution’s history, which it plans to apply in a scholarship fund covering in-state tuition and book fees.

Bill and Joanne Conway pledged $13.83 million through their Bedford Falls Fund to continue UMSON’s Conway Scholars program and create an additional 345 scholarships which cover in-state tuition, undergraduate book fees and other expenditures, the school said in a news release Tuesday.

The gift marks the fourth donation to UMSON from the Conways, and the single largest in the institution’s history. Adding in this week’s sum, the family has donated around $30 million over the last six years.

As a show of gratitude to the Conways, UMSON has chosen to name its deanship The Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of Nursing.

“The Conways’ extraordinary generosity continues to help meet that need and propel the University of Maryland School of Nursing forward,” said University of Maryland Baltimore President Bruce Jarrell.

“Countless lives will be positively impacted because of their support. I’m especially pleased that the deanship will now be associated with these incredible and generous people.”

The donation also puts $1 million for the renovation of the nursing building at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, which is part of the University System of Maryland.

The Conways are working to achieve a long-term philanthropic goal of providing scholarships for 10,000 nursing students. Their first pledge of over $5 million in April 2015 was used to boost enrollment in the entry-into-nursing BSN program.

Subsequent gifts bolstered scholarships for master’s and doctoral students and supported the launch of the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at USG.

“It allows us to continue meeting the critical need, in Maryland and nationally, for improving access to care and patient outcomes by increasing the number of nurses educated at the baccalaureate degree level or higher,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling.

“These Conway Scholars are critical to providing the caliber of nursing care our patients, their families, and our communities require and deserve; they will help ensure that we can meet health care needs in all parts of our state, now and in the years to come.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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