2009
Trust donates $600,000 to provide scholarships for nursing programs

Trust donates $600,000 to provide scholarships for nursing programs
September 2, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

The Evelyn R. Simmers Charitable Trust has donated $600,000 to the Department of Nursing at Benedictine University to endow scholarships for students pursuing either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. “This generous gift will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students who are working adults juggling multiple priorities,” said Ethel C. Ragland, Ed.D., M.N., R.N., professor and chair of the Department of Nursing and Health at Benedictine University. “By furthering the education of nurses, the Simmers Trust is endowing the health of our community.” Prior to their deaths, Evelyn Simmers and her husband, Wallace, who owned a small manufacturing company in Chicago, were well-known for their support of hospital activities and programs. Both succumbed to cancer. “Evelyn Simmers was a woman who truly believed in the philosophy of teaching one person and having them pass their education on to many more people,” said Meagan Daniel, associate director for academic advancement at Benedictine University. “She had a passion for education, and especially for nurses, who have the opportunity to touch so many lives each and every day.” Benedictine’s R.N. to B.S.N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) completion program provides registered nurses with the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake leadership positions where they work and further their education at the graduate level. The program is offered through a partnership between Benedictine, the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Triton College in Morton Grove and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. The fully online Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program at Benedictine is designed to prepare registered nurses at the master’s degree level for the rapidly changing face of health care. The program emphasizes interrelated academic preparation in areas of leadership, education, administration, and public and global health care. The donation will make the programs available to more nurses during a time when there is a critical shortage of qualified health care workers. “The significance of a donation is not in the amount of money, but in the number of lives touched by such a gift,” said Charles Gregory, executive vice president of Benedictine University. “When a donor contributes to the University, he or she is investing in the future of a student who will use their knowledge and skills to make a contribution to society. “A Benedictine graduate is special…special because they have learned the importance of giving back,” Gregory added.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.