On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the University of Cincinnati announced that it surpassed the $1 billion goal of its Proudly Cincinnati campaign—four months ahead of the campaign’s June 2013 deadline.
In coming weeks, we will be featuring stories to highlight ways the campaign has positively impacted each of the four colleges at the Academic Health Center, improving our tripartite mission of education, research and clinical care.
Due to the generosity of University of Cincinnati nursing alumni and additional donors, a scholarship fund specific to graduate studies is beginning to assist nursing’s graduate students with tuition costs.
"The scholarship definitely keeps me from having to work full time and balance school and my son,” says Lauren Muthig, a student in UC’s accelerated master’s of nursing science program who recently received $3,000 toward tuition from the College of Nursing Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund for Graduate Student Education.
"This is the only scholarship that we have in the college that is 100 percent dedicated to graduate students,” says Brian Hurst, senior director of development for the UC Academic Health Center.
Muthig, he says, is one of six nursing students who have been awarded a total of $9,000 in funding, disbursed in varying amounts, since the fund was established in 2010 with $40,000 in seed money from the college’s alumni association.
Within a few months of origination the fund grew to $50,000—the amount needed to establish a permanent endowment, meaning the scholarships are paid out on the interest gained—and to date it has a principal balance of $75,000, Hurst says.
Since the fund’s inception, the 265 alumni and other donors have contributed 375 gifts, which means some donors have given multiple times, says Hurst.
"Pure tuition scholarships,” he says, "are fairly common at the undergraduate level, but are harder to come by for graduate students and this one has grown at a steady pace.”
This growth is a reflection of the dedication nurses have to their profession and the advancement of nursing in the health care field, says alumna, donor and former alumni association president and treasurer Connie Barker, (MSN ’90) who was heavily involved in originating the scholarship. The alumni, says Barker, were pleased to be able to extend support for advanced education for graduates of our program.
"We wanted to celebrate the history and growth of the college, and as the college has grown so has the need to support advanced practice nurses,” she says.
That support, Muthig says, makes all the difference when it comes to juggling day-to-day expenses, but it also means "when I get out of college I won’t have this incredible amount of debt.”