Rennebohm Foundation Makes Second Gift to School of Nursing


April 15, 2011

by Oscar Rennebohm Foundation

The Oscar Rennebohm Foundation made its second $1 million gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing in advance of the Badgers’ Spring Football Game.

The gift was announced at the May game, but it was anonymous. The Rennebohm Foundation wanted to spark people’s interest in the School’s plan to build a new home – and it has, said Mary Gulbrandsen (MS NUR ’74), a Rennebohm board member. Foundation members have continued to meet with other Wisconsin health-care and business leaders to encourage gifts for the building and strategic growth at the School, and they are seeing results, she said.

Oscar Rennebohm established the Rennebohm Foundation in 1949 to support education, research, health care and recreation in Madison. Prior to a $1 million December 2010 gift, the Foundation had never made a gift to nursing, Gulbrandsen said. “Nursing is certainly part of health care. As we look at what’s happening on campus, certainly the School of Nursing comes up.”

Many of the nursing faculty members across the state were educated at the UW-Madison, Gulbrandsen said. Foundation members feel strongly that the University is essential to educating nurses for Wisconsin.

“The School needs statewide support,” Gulbrandsen said. “Although other universities are also building nursing facilities, the faculty will come from Madison,” she said. “It all works together. You need to make sure you’ve got the faculty to work in your school of nursing.”

“The Rennebohm Foundation has been an absolutely amazing partner for the School of Nursing as we plan for the future.  Dean Katharyn May said. “Literally, their support has helped to ensure that we can grow – as the state and the nation needs us to grow –while maintaining that margin of excellence for which our faculty, students and graduates are known.”.

State lawmakers this summer approved $34.8 million in state funding for a new nursing building at the UW-Madison, half in the 2011-2013 biennium and half in the following two years. Groundbreaking is scheduled for April 21, 2012 with completion in the fall of 2014.

The Power of Nursing Campaign has raised $14.6 million of the $17.4 million in private support needed for the building.

The 160,000-square-foot building (99,000 assignable square feet) includes a 360-seat interactive classrooms in which nursing, medical and pharmacy students will collaborate on virtual cases. Nursing students will gain valuable experience in state-of-the-art hospital and home-care simulation rooms. The new building has room for 30 percent more students and faculty, as well as additional programs and research

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