15:23 PM

Associated Nursing Alumni Members Present $700,000 Gift to Establish the ANA Endowed Scholarship at UST

L to R: Denise Hines '76, Vera Kuhn and Judy Etzel, Dr. Richard Ludwick and Dr.Claudine DufreneThe Associated Nursing Alumni made a remarkable gift of $700,000 to establish the Associated Nursing Alumni Endowed Scholarship at the University of St. Thomas-Houston.

Dr. Claudine Dufrene, Interim Executive Dean of Nursing expressed her gratitude, saying “The Peavy School of Nursing is grateful to the ANA for the generous donation to establish the ANA Endowed Scholarship. Endowments such as this one allow us to award scholarships to our nursing students that help to reduce the financial burden they experience while in school and beyond. The ANA has had an integral role in the establishment of the BSN program and its members have provided support for our program and students since the program’s inception.”

The ANA is comprised of nursing alumni from three Houston-area Catholic schools of higher education who housed nursing programs throughout the years, including St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing (1935-1948), Sacred Heart Dominican College of Nursing (1948-1972) and the University of St. Thomas (1972-1986).  

At an intimate reception on Dec. 13, 2022, UST President Richard Ludwick; Vice President of University Advancement and Chief Development Officer Dawn Koenning; and Interim Executive Dean of Nursing Claudine Dufrene met and reminisced with ANA members Judy Etzel, Denise Hines '76 and Vera Kuhn, a 1966 graduate of Dominican College. Each have enjoyed impressive nursing careers caring for those in need throughout Houston, and as their group formally dissolves, they hope the ANA legacy will continue through this scholarship and its recipients.

UST reopened the Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing in 2014 on its main campus. The Peavy family were generous with their time and resources, acting as the catalysts in resurrecting the school. The late Carol Peavy, who earned a B.S. degree in nursing from Dominican College, was an active ANA member, serving as president several times. She was instrumental in encouraging UST to re-establish a nursing school and taught nursing at UST for several years. 

To support the relaunch of UST’s School of Nursing, the ANA made a $1M gift to help establish the Sister Mary Martina Casey, CCVI Chair in Nursing in 2014. Over the years, the Peavy School has built upon the vision of the late Sr. Casey, who, in her role as former School of Nursing Dean, redefined the nursing curriculum, transforming the concept of nursing from focusing only on the clinical aspects of medical care to emphasizing the dignity of each patient and the care of the whole person. Sr. Martina led the school for many years, maintaining its legacy of educating nurses intellectually, morally and spiritually. The outcome was excellent nurses who practiced compassionate healing. 

Since 1905, more than 50,000 nurses have graduated from St. Joseph Hospital, Sacred Heart Dominican College and the University of St. Thomas Peavy School of Nursing. These dedicated men and women have infused the medical profession with empathy, compassion, respect and a drive to treat people rather than symptoms – much needed qualities in today’s cost-motivated healthcare climate. Today, the Peavy School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (traditional & accelerated programs), Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Post-master's Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health, with a current enrollment of 475 students.