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$2 Million Gift to College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Supports Scholarships, Faculty Positions

Howard nursing students work in simulation lab.

WASHINGTON - A $2 million gift from philanthropists Joanne and William Conway to the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences – the largest the college has received in its existence – will support three new faculty positions and scholarships for nursing students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

The donation provides five years of funding for the salaries of one full-time and two part-time nursing faculty members. It also provides scholarships for up to 15 bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students and up to five master of science in nursing (MSN) students. It supports the creation of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Howard, offering up to five scholarships to DNP students who commit to teach in nursing after they graduate.

“It is with profound gratitude that I thank Joanne and William Conway for their bountiful contribution to support and expand the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. This wonderful gift will augment Howard’s capability to teach and will provide greater opportunities for a diverse student population across multiple medical specialties,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

“The College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences is excited and thrilled to receive this $2 million gift from Joanne and William Conway,” said Gina S. Brown, Ph.D., MSA, RN, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health. “It’s the largest gift to the college, and we’re the only HBCU that’s ever been funded for a Bedford Falls Foundation initiative. We’re humbled that they would consider Howard and appreciate their partnership. This will expand Howard’s capability to educate nurses who will improve medical outcomes around the globe.”

The Conways are trustees of the Bedford Falls Foundation Charitable Trust. William Conway is a co-founder of the private equity company The Carlyle Group and serves as interim CEO and non-executive co-chairman of the board of directors. He and his wife Joanne are ardent proponents of nursing education. The scholarship program at Howard will be named “Joanne and William Conway Nursing Scholarship” in their honor, and scholarship recipients will be called “Conway Scholars.”

Joanne and William Conway said, “Bedford Falls Foundation has long focused on facilitating access to high-quality nursing education, particularly amongst first-generation college students. Like many HBCUs, Howard University’s nursing program serves many first-generation college students.”

They continued, “Howard University’s nursing program has the leadership and vision necessary for expansion. Howard had more qualified students who wanted to declare nursing majors than it had spots in its program. Given the critical nursing shortage in the United States, we saw an opportunity to partner with Howard to give it the funding it needed to expand its program to admit these qualified students.”

The gift supports CNAHS’s goals of increasing enrollment in the undergraduate nursing program and adding the DNP doctorate degree to the curriculum. DNPs are one of the highest levels of nursing that one can obtain and, as such, equip nurses with the ability to affect and implement policy while applying practical healthcare knowledge. They are an option for nurses who want a higher-level degree without having to forgo patient care for research.

Brown continues, “The DNP program allows us to educate and build our own nursing scholars, so that they can teach in the classroom, and in turn produce more nurses of color, which then allows for the healing of communities, while also enabling Howard’s nursing graduates to globally address health disparities. So, it’s really a very cyclical effect of us being able to put nurses on the ground. We can’t teach nursing students if we don't have nurse educators; we can’t have adequate nurse educators if we don’t have a DNP program.”

Since its beginnings in 1969 as the Division of Nursing, CNAHS has grown to become a primary pipeline of African American and other professionals in clinical laboratory science, health sciences and management, nursing, nutritional sciences, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistants and radiation therapy. CNAHS also offers graduate programs in nutritional science, occupational therapy and physical therapy, and a post-master’s degree family nurse practitioner certificate program.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media contact: Sholnn Freeman; sholnn.freeman@howard.edu