The George Washington University School of Nursing has received $2.5 million to offer financial assistance to veterans pursuing bachelor of science degrees in nursing, the largest philanthropic gift in the school’s history.
Made possible by William Conway, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity company, and his wife Joanne, the gift will launch the William and Joanne Conway Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative. The Conways have long been committed to educating nurses to help fill a vital societal need.
“The Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative is designed to reward the brave men and women of our armed forces who seek to continue their service to our country as civilian nurses,” said Mr. Conway. “By funding scholarships and providing financial aid for select veteran students at the GW School of Nursing, we aim to support their educational pursuits at a time when our country needs them most.”
Over the next five years, the gift will support more than 65 students and increase the number of veterans in the civilian nursing workforce.
“At such a critical time, when the world requires qualified and compassionate nurses, this transformational gift will help fund the pathway for select veteran students who want to pursue this noble profession, but lack the financial means to do so on their own,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said. “We are grateful to the Conways for enabling this investment when our nation’s nursing workforce and veterans need it most.”
Despite the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other military benefits funding veterans’ education, many still struggle financially while they pursue higher education. Veterans enrolled at SON, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary, have faced challenges supporting themselves and their families as they transition from serving the country to serving its critical health care needs.
Since its founding, SON has supported veterans through scholarships, specialized student resources, credit transfer, an accelerated bachelor’s degree option and other unique pathways to degrees.
"The Conways’ commitment to our military veterans is unwavering, and so is ours at the GW School of Nursing,” SON Dean Pamela Jeffries said. “As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it's gifts like these that enable us to grow our veteran student population and provide the resources they need to succeed.”
In May, SON is commemorating its 10th anniversary as well as National Nurses Month. In only a decade, the school has risen to prominence as a center for teaching and leadership, recently ranking sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for online graduate nursing education.