UMSN reaches major fundraising goal

Bookmark and Share

UMSN campaign goal reached

Ann Arbor, Mich -- The University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN) is pleased to announce it has reached its $28 million goal in the Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign.

“Donors are recognizing the important work happening at UMSN,” said Colleen Zimmerman, UMSN’s executive director of Development and Alumni Relations. “There’s a growing understanding of nursing science. Patient care will always be a focus area, but there is much more happening with leadership, population health, quality and safety. It’s really exciting.”

It’s a message Dean Patricia Hurn, Ph.D., RN, has been championing since her arrival at UMSN in August 2016. Now, more than ever, she sees great opportunity for individual nurses and the greater profession.

“Nursing is poised to take a stronger position in health leadership,” Hurn said.  “We have the talent and the numbers, but we need more action. Private philanthropy allows us to take calculated and thoughtful risks.”

“At UMSN, we’re already putting these gifts into action,” she added. “We increased the number endowed professorships for our faculty, which gives them the tools and time to elevate their research. We are becoming more diverse and we increased our focus on interdisciplinary education. Our researchers, practitioners, students and alumni are working together in classrooms, labs and on the job to innovate smart solutions to problems of all levels. Nursing needs to foster creative and strong leaders so that wherever they work, whether it’s in hospitals, communities or internationally, they can move the needle forward on health. We are making that difference now.”

UMSN customized the campaign with a “Champions for All” theme to highlight the potential for these gifts to benefit everyone.

“It’s really powerful to know your gift is going to benefit health in some way, whether it’s helping a student pay for a class in which they’ll learn how to save a life, or if it’s supporting research that could improve the health of entire populations,” said Hurn.

“We had so many new donors, especially alumni and retired faculty,” said Zimmerman, pointing to the breadth of donors who supported the campaign. “They wanted to give but needed to be sure it was the right time. We have a talented and young base of faculty who are well positioned for a long trajectory of meaningful research and clinical work. Now is the right time. Our donors felt it; they knew it.”

The U-M’s Victors for Michigan public campaign kicked off in 2013 with a fundraising goal of $4 billion. It runs through 2018.

The campaign has three key priorities. The top focus area is on financial aid to guarantee a bright and diverse group of students are able to study at U-M. Donors gifted more than nine million dollars for UMSN student support and many of those gifts are already in use to help current students.

More than three million dollars was gifted for faculty support and nearly 14 million for research. Of the student, faculty, and research support gifts, nearly 11 million is in endowment, meaning the money will continue to grow and provide opportunities for years to come.

Increasing opportunities for engaged learning is another priority. More than a quarter of a million dollars was given to support UMSN’s advanced-technology School of Nursing building. It includes many progressive classroom and hands-on settings, such as the Clinical Learning Center which provides students with innovative simulation-learning opportunities. These experiences cultivate the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary for nurses in today’s modern health care systems.

The third priority is supporting bold ideas aimed at serving the public. For UMSN, that focus is on health.

 “Many of these gifts are really personal,” added Zimmerman. “They’re often given, not in their own name, but in honor of their mother, a grandparent, even a college roommate. I’ve been a gift officer for a long time and I still tear up when I hear some of their stories.”

UMSN is taking this moment to celebrate the collective achievements of our donors, alumni, staff, faculty and students. However, as Hurn and Zimmerman agree, “We’re just getting started.”