Major Gifts Give Momentum to School of Nursing Building Campaign


October 9, 2009

by Oscar Rennebohm Foundation

MADISON, Wis. – Two major gifts announced Friday provide a major boost to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing and its Power of Nursing Campaign to build and staff a new Nursing Science Center.

Connie Curran (’69 BS NURS) has made a $300,000 gift, and the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation has made a $1 million gift to the campaign, which will build and equip a new Nursing Science Center located in the heart of UW-Madison’s vibrant health science campus and recruit and support the faculty necessary for the School’s growth. The gifts were announced in conjunction with the Power of Nursing Summit, taking place through Saturday at locations around campus.

The weekend launches the public phase of the $20 million Power of Nursing Campaign. With these gifts, the campaign now has raised $12 million of the $20 million goal for private support to help fund construction and strategic growth. “These gifts from our great friends at this point in the campaign are extremely important,” said Katharyn A. May, dean of the School of Nursing. “I think they will create excitement for our supporters and friends here and around the state. I have great confidence that these generous gifts will create momentum as we enter the public phase of our capital campaign.”

“Connie Curran has been, and continues to be, an influential leader whose influence stretches well beyond nursing,” May said.”I also know, firsthand, that she is a proud Wisconsin alumna. I am thrilled that she has chosen to invest in our School’s future. Her generous gift will help us strengthen how we prepare our students for professional leadership, and it will create a wonderful space in our new building for interaction among undergraduate and graduate students and alumni leaders in nursing and health care.”

The dean also saluted the Rennebohm Foundation’s philanthropy. “The Oscar Rennebohm Foundation has been a significant friend to the University, and we’re so very grateful that it has included the School of Nursing in the worthy projects it has supported on campus,” May said. “The Rennebohm Foundation has made support of health-care initiatives a top priority, and this gift to our School once again shows the vision and foresight of the foundation and its leaders.”

Curran, who lives in Chicago, is one of the most prolific scholars in the health care field and the editor of Nursing Economic$. She has hundreds of publications and several research programs to her credit, and she has led national studies on nursing staff recruitment, retention and labor market participation. She has written books on hospital

physician integration, hospital redesign and home care. She has held faculty positions at several schools of nursing and has made presentations to tens of thousands of health-care professionals and administrators throughout the world. She is the founder and president of Your Virtual Executive, a group of senior executives committed to helping hospitals implement solutions to improve the lives of patients and caregivers.

“I think the School of Nursing is an enormous resource, not only to the students and staff, but also to the patients at University Hospital and Clinics, and all the people of Wisconsin,” Curran said. “My mother was a patient there, and the quality of care was absolutely first class.

“I am an expert on quality in health care, and we have it here,” Curran said. “I am so proud to support the School in its most valuable mission, and I am happy the School is there for Wisconsin and the world.”

Mary Gulbrandsen (’74 MS NURS, ’98 MS MED), a trustee of the Rennebohm Foundation, said, “The Oscar Rennebohm Foundation is excited to join other donors and the state in the construction of a new building for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. The importance and prominence of nursing continues to expand in every aspect of health care. A building where the UW-Madison’s exceptional faculty and program can become even more responsive to the technological and scientific changes occurring today is essential to the strength and health of the entire health sciences community at the University.”

Oscar Rennebohm established the Rennebohm Foundation in 1949 to support education, research, health care and recreation in the Madison metropolitan area. The gift announced today is consistent with the mission of the Rennebohm Foundation — to support the work of the UW-Madison. Over the past 60 years, the Rennebohm Foundation has provided grants for people and programs in many of the schools and colleges at the University.

Phone: 608.492.4282


PO Box 5187 | Madison, Wisconsin 53705-0187

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