UMass Amherst to rename nursing school after getting $21.5M gift | News

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The college of nursing at UMass Amherst received a $21.5 million gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation.







AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM/AP) — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $21.5 million gift from the foundation named for an alumna who was also the author of several influential nursing textbooks, school officials announced Thursday.

In honor of the gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation — the single largest cash gift dedicated exclusively to the Amherst campus — the university will rename its nursing school the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing.

“This gift is an endorsement of the vital role that our College of Nursing plays in preparing nurses for leadership in health care,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement. “It comes at a time when our society is confronted with unprecedented challenges — challenges that we strive to overcome through innovation, learning and discovery inspired by one of our most distinguished and beloved graduates, Dr. Marieb herself.”

Marieb, a Northampton native who died in 2018 at age 82, earned master’s and doctorate degrees from UMass Amherst. She also taught at Springfield College and Holyoke Community College.

In response to complaints from her nursing students that the materials then available were ineffective, she authored or co-authored more than 10 bestselling textbooks and laboratory manuals on anatomy and physiology.

Her work has been read by more than 3 million nurses and health care professionals practicing today, according to the university.

The gift will be used to enhance the university’s innovative nursing engineering center while providing support for student scholarships, an endowed professorship, and mentorship and research initiatives.

Western Mass News spoke with Dean of the College of Nursing Allison Vorderstrasse and she explained how this money will impact the students.

“First and foremost, the education that graduate students receive across those two fields, if we were able to harness those energies into multidisciplinary teams and from there, the Center for Nursing and Engineering really looked at where is that nexus between real-world clinical care,” Vorderstrasse noted.

Today’s announcement is another in a series of major gifts in the University of Massachusetts system.  So far, UMass has received $50 million aimed at increasing access and opportunity across the five-campus university system and $170 million from the Morningside Foundation specifically to UMass Medical School. 

The university’s board of trustees is expected to approve the new name of UMass Amherst’s nursing program at its next meeting.

UMass Amherst has about 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students.





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