Troy Scheer began his first semester at the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln in the fall of 2018 expecting to take the first steps toward pursuing a degree in computer science.

However, Scheer quickly found that he was pursuing a career he wasn’t truly interested in. He pivoted and found an interest in the field of health sciences but couldn’t pin down a career that truly connected with him.

Scheer spent the next two semesters of his freshman year soul-searching for his calling. Seemingly overnight, he landed on a path toward a career in nursing. Six years later, Scheer is just weeks away from receiving his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“I think I just woke up one day and realized that every day in college was going to be preparing me for my future career,” he said. “In those early days of my undergraduate career, I realized that I wanted to pursue something that I felt like was going to give me the opportunity to directly impact the lives of people and help them in a meaningful way.”

Scheer, a Gretna, Nebraska, native, is in the final weeks of his preceptorship out of the college’s Lincoln division. After receiving his BSN in May and receiving his nursing license in June, Scheer will begin work at Nebraska Medicine as an RN in the neurological specialty unit.

“I’m very excited for the position,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to for a couple months now.”

On top of the new job, Scheer is already planning for his future. He was recently admitted to the PhD in Nursing program through UNMC beginning this fall. Earning his doctorate will help Scheer get one step closer to his goal of preparing future generations of Nebraska nurses.

“I want to dive into the world of nursing research and academia,” he said. “Potentially, I could see myself becoming faculty to someday teach future nursing students.”

The success Scheer has found through UNMC’s nursing program would not have been possible without the support of selfless donors. Scheer was the recipient of several UNMC scholarships, including the Bernice Harris Nursing Scholarship and Nora Parker Linn Scholarship.

He said the impact donor support has on himself and his peers at UNMC is immeasurable.

“Being a student is not an easy path,” Scheer said. “It involves a lot of professional and personal growth, along with the financial burdens that accompany higher education. What may seem like a simple monetary gift really does go a long way in supporting students’ growth and education.”

The future is bright for Scheer. His passion for the field has bloomed over the last two years thanks in large part to the opportunities provided to him through UNMC’s nursing program.

“I’m very proud to be able to call myself a UNMC Lincoln Division nursing student,” he said. “The main reason for that is the faculty. They have provided some of the best interactions I’ve had over the last six years of undergraduate study.”

The school’s focus on implementing information learned during classroom instruction in a hands-on environment has helped Scheer continue to grow as a nursing student.

“You have your didactic classes throughout the week, where you’re in a classroom setting and it’s all very information heavy,” he said. “Then, you’ll turn around the next day and you’ll be bedside in a hospital caring for someone who’s incredibly ill and you’re applying that textbook knowledge.”

Those bedside interactions also helped Scheer realize that he found his passion in nursing.

“The humanity you’re able to witness when you’re in the hospital and you’re helping people that are very ill and vulnerable is such a great feeling,” he said. “I’m very proud of everything I have done thus far in nursing school.”

As he prepares to enter the next chapter of his life, Scheer is proud to call himself a UNMC graduate. The opportunities provided to him over the last two years have set the stage for a lifetime of success, all while making an impact in the lives of those who need it most.

“I believe that my peers and I are quite prepared to enter the field as new graduate nurses and we have our college and faculty to thank for that,” he said. “I’m very thankful for the support that has been given to our college that allows this good work to continue.”

Clayton Harris has always been an extrovert.

He knew from the time he began his first job in high school at Subway that he had a knack for working with people. Now, he’s swapped out subs for scrubs to make a difference in Nebraska’s health care field by joining the next generation of the state’s nursing workforce.

Harris is a first-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student studying at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Norfolk Division. Born and raised in David City, NE, Harris knew he wanted to become the first in his family to pursue higher education. Even before he took his first step on a college campus, Harris knew he wanted to pursue a career in healthcare.

“Being around people all day really energizes me,” Harris said. “I think nursing is the highest form of customer service that’s out there. It allows you to be very personable with other people, as well as just being a source of knowledge whenever they need something.”

After completing his nursing pre-requisites at Wayne State College, Harris took the next step in his nursing career at UNMC’s Norfolk division. He highlighted the college’s culture, saying students are encouraged to approach new challenges head one without fear of failure.

“It’s okay to make mistakes,” he said. “They use that as positive reinforcement to help us grow as students. I think UNMC just does a really great job in fostering that kind of culture.”

When Harris graduates in May 2025, he hopes to use his degree to address a growing shortfall. According to the Nebraska Center for Nursing, the state will experience a workforce shortage of over 5,000 nurses by 2025. 73 of Nebraska’s 93 counties have less than the national average ratio of registered nurses to patients.

He plans on returning to rural Nebraska to make a direct impact in addressing the nursing shortfall, all while helping those who mean the most to him.

“I like smaller communities a little bit more because you can get to know the people in the community a lot faster,” he said. “These are also areas of need, so I just really want to go back and help out rural communities.”

Harris knows the impact donor support has on himself and his peers within the College of Nursing. Whether supporting scholarship opportunities or the variety of other funds spread throughout the school’s five campuses, Harris said donors can play a direct role in impacting the next generation of the state’s nursing workforce.

“No matter where you go for college education, there is going to be that financial barrier and it can just be hard to push through that for some students,” Harris said. “Giving back to the College of Nursing is a great way to support future generations.”

Shaping Futures, Healing Communities: The SAGH Narrative

“The [service] trips were very popular from the get-go, and they have just expanded since.”

The Student Alliance for Global Health is an organization at the University of Nebraska Medical Center uniting UNMC students, faculty and the local community aiming to create a broader awareness of global health challenges. Through a variety of events and initiatives, SAGH provides platforms for learning, discussion and action about global health endeavors worldwide.

Kristina Pravoverov is a MD/PhD student at UNMC and the current vice president of SAGH. After learning about SAGH’s mission during her first year of medical school, Pravoverov quickly recognized the alignment between her passion for travel and her desire to advocate for the intersection of social justice and health disparities. Soon after joining, she applied for the Jamaica Medical Service trip and began her work with SAGH.

“I was only a first-year medical student, and I was not very confident in my clinical abilities or my clinical knowledge,” said Pravoverov. “But what I realized the first day that I was there was that I had the support of incredible faculty that were able to guide me and help me become a better future physician,” she said.

Sara Pirtle is the faculty adviser of SAGH. Her connection with SAGH dates to its creation during 1995-1996, when two medical students recognized the absence of an organization catering to students who were passionate about global health. These two students then took the initiative to establish SAGH, a decision that received official approval from UNMC, making it a part of the institution ever since.

“The [service] trips were very popular from the get-go, and they have just expanded since,” Pirtle said. “There’s been robust donations all along … and now we have a nice donation vehicle that started last year with the giving days.”

Last year, SAGH received $300 from donors during UNMC’s giving day, For the Greater Good. “Which is, frankly speaking, a drop in the bucket compared to what we need for our service trips,” Pirtle said. “But it’s all helpful and we need a lot of money to have a robust offering of service trips.”

Donations received by SAGH go toward allowing students to provide health care services, education and outreach to underserved communities. Your support of this mission impacts the lives of students like Kristina Pravoverov and instructors like Sara Pirtle.

UNMC

Student Alliance for Global Health

The UNMC Student Alliance for Global Health brings together UNMC students, faculty and community members to learn about global health issues and to support global health initiatives at home and abroad.

How SHARING is Transforming Health Care Equity

A woman, let’s call her Jane, walked into the University of Nebraska Medicine Center’s VISION clinic thinking the problem with her eyesight could be solely attributed to her lack of prescription lenses. She soon learned that the problem with her eyesight was a symptom of something far more serious. What she was experiencing would require more care and attention than simply getting new glasses.

Living below the poverty line and without health insurance, Jane’s story is about more than her health. It’s also about how she was able to receive treatment given her financial situation. Without the collective efforts of student volunteers and UNMC faculty and the benefit of generous donations, Jane wouldn’t have received the care she needed or would have been buried under a mountain of medical debt.

A trip to the VISION Clinic, which is part of UNMC’s SHARING Clinic, is what made the difference. And donations from people like you are what made it possible.

SHARING was started in 1997 to provide free or low-cost primary health care to underprivileged populations in the Omaha area. The student-run clinics provide high-quality care in a multidisciplinary educational setting.

Not only do the SHARING Clinics provide free or low-cost medical care, they also give UNMC students the opportunity to interact with patients as early as their first year in medical school. The fact that it is multidisciplinary means it’s not just helping medical students learn, but also nursing students, students from medical nutrition, physical therapy, dentistry and pharmacy – to name a few.

Third-year medical student and co-chair of the SHARING Student Advisory Committee, Laura Ebers, started volunteering at the clinic during her first year at UNMC. “Being able to volunteer my first and second year as a student provider helped me be more comfortable and better prepared for the third and fourth years of medical school where you’re interacting more directly with patients,” said Ebers. “It helped me build my confidence talking with patients.”

So, what about Jane, you ask? Enter third-year medical student, Logan Bomberger, a volunteer at the SHARING Clinics and faculty recruiter on the Student Advisory Committee.

“After doing an assessment, we realized that she was experiencing something called diabetic retinopathy,” said Bomberger. “Her eyesight was actually being affected by her diagnosed diabetes that was being left untreated. So, by coming to the clinic and getting that recognized, we were able to start her on medications that she wasn’t able to be started on before because she was uninsured and unable to get medical care.”

Jane was able to continue to follow up with her care and soon saw improvements not only in handling her diabetes but also with her vision.

Donations of any amount to SHARING Clinics will help fund the day-to-day operations of the clinics, supporting the training of future health care professionals and patients like Jane.

“By donating to projects like the SHARING Clinics, you’re really helping to shape our community into a place where everyone has the opportunity for a healthier tomorrow,” Bomberger said.

UNMC

SHARING Clinic Operations Fund

Gifts to this fund support the operations of the SHARING Clinic.

Passion and Career Converge at UNMC

Due to reliable and trusting support from donors, Klein was able to pursue a future where her career and passion align.

During her first two years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Abbey Klein held two jobs alongside her full schedule of classes. A challenging period such as this underscores the sacrifices she made to pursue her education, highlighting the toll it can exact. “When you burn the candle at both ends in your education and complete it, it’s like, what’s left?” she explained. “If your tank is empty, how can you go out into the world and become an impactful health leader?” 

Like many others, Klein confronted these questions as she pursued her educational aspirations. Her academic program emphasized the importance of maintaining a balance between personal well-being and academic pursuits for future leaders in the health care field. 

“Paying for school is challenging, and it becomes even more so when you have additional financial obligations like a house or children,” she continued. “When I received funding from scholarships and grants, specifically from donors, it truly made those things possible.” 

Today, Klein is paying it forward. 

“One of my passions is teaching; I love seeing new students — their passion is so invigorating, and being constantly surrounded by that is something that keeps me going,” says the now assistant professor in the College of Nursing. 

In conjunction with educating the next generation of nurses, Klein is also a researcher for the College of Nursing. “I’m really excited to continue my research, which focuses on pelvic floor disorders in women,” she explained. “I am deeply committed to finding ways, within the community setting, to empower women to attain their optimal health.” 

Due to reliable and trusting support from donors, Klein was able to pursue a future where her career and passion align. 

Donating to the University of Nebraska and its students provides brighter opportunities for the UNMC community and fosters a web of generational trust between past and present students. Please consider making a gift today to help us provide more opportunities like these to UNMC students. 

UNMC Student Scholarship Fund

A gift to this fund supports students by providing scholarships recognizing academic excellence and financial need. The scholarships are awarded through UNMC’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Like Mother, Like Son

Theta Cole Bullington graduated from what is now the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1938.

“Mom was a kindhearted soul. She would be more than happy to have what she worked for go to help people in the (nursing) profession.”

Son Honors His Mother With a Gift to Help Others

By Susan Houston Klaus

The first things you learn about Leland Essary are that he’s exceptionally good humored, a great storyteller — and proud of his mother’s accomplishments.

Burnett Society member Leland and his mother, Theta Cole Bullington, shared a love of adventure and of helping others. Theta rose in her profession to be a respected leader in public health nursing; Leland enjoyed a decades-long career in teaching. Along the way, the mother and son didn’t hesitate to lend a hand to people in need.

Born in Stockville, Nebraska, Theta had her sights set on becoming a nurse.

“Her parents were not wealthy people,” Leland said. “When Mom graduated from high school, she went to teach to make money [to be able to go to the university and study nursing]. Her overall goal was not to be a teacher; her overall goal was to be a nurse. It meant a lot to her.”

In 1938, at age 29, Theta earned her general nursing degree. The next year, she received her Bachelor of Nursing degree from what is now the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Theta was a nurse in Pennsylvania during World War II. Later, she moved to Oklahoma, where she worked with the Native American community and then went on to serve in public health nursing in Nevada and as director of public health nursing for Santa Cruz County, California.

A young Leland and his mom returned to Nebraska in the late 1950s, where she renewed her teaching certification, serving in one-room schools. Later, she worked in nursing for the educational service units in North Platte and Kearney.

Theta was always ready to help others. Leland remembers her writing a check to a friend of his and saying, “Pay me back when you can.”

Neighbors in rural Nebraska, with health care many miles away, would ask for her help because they knew she was an RN.

From his mother, Leland learned the value of hard work and pitching in where it was needed.

He worked cattle on his stepdad’s 5,700-acre Sandhills ranch from the time he was 11.

“You fix fences, you put up hay for the winter, you fix wells, herd cattle, chase cattle,” Leland said. “I bet I was on a horse five out of the seven days in a week.”

Leland graduated from McPherson County High School and Kearney State College. Like his mother, he became a teacher.

Leland had taught in Grand Island for eight years when he and three other teachers who enjoyed off-roading were lured by Arizona’s warm climate and plenty of places to ride off-road. Leland moved to Phoenix and joined Washington Elementary School, teaching sixth-grade math and some English.

For Leland, teaching turned out to be a lifelong vocation.

“In 30 years, I never had a class of kids that I just didn’t absolutely love,” he said.

Like his mother, Leland hasn’t hesitated to go the extra mile. A kind gesture nearly 25 years ago turned into a lasting friendship.

In 1999, he met up with a tour group of Amish people whose driver had had a health emergency. Leland volunteered to take them around southwest Colorado. He refused to accept any payment, so one member of the group invited him to visit them in Indiana.

He took them at their word. After he retired, he drove to Indiana, planning to stay a few days and return home. Leland ended up staying in the community for more than three months. He found himself again in the classroom, teaching math and English in a one-room school — the same kind of school at which his mother had taught when she returned to Nebraska.

Theta joined her son in Arizona after retiring in the late 1970s. She loved to travel and enjoyed her years in the Phoenix area.

Recently, Leland said, he had been thinking about how he could honor his mother, who died in 1995, and her career in nursing through his estate. He thought about the recognition Theta received in 1983 from the UNMC Alumni Association, which presented her with its inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award.

It meant everything to her, Leland said.

“She was so honored by it,” he said, “I got to thinking, what could I do?”

Theta’s enthusiasm for her alma mater helped Leland decide on the perfect gift in her honor: the Theta C. Bullington College of Nursing Scholarship Fund.

It seemed an appropriate tribute to someone “who just lived the nursing profession” and knew it could be difficult for some to afford an education, Leland said.

The endowed gift, which was established as a bequest, will provide a lasting legacy for his mother for decades to come.

“Mom was a kindhearted soul,” Leland said. “She would be more than happy to have what she worked for go to help people in the profession.”

Theta Cole Bullington received the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNMC in 1983.

This article was originally written by Bill O’Neill at UNMC

“One reason that the medical center continues to have such a beneficial economic impact on the state is its devotion to health care,” – Dr. James Linder

UNMC and its primary clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, continue to expand their contribution to the state’s economic success.

According to an independent new analysis, the medical center impacts Nebraskans daily — directly or indirectly — through its statewide educational programs, bioscience research and clinical services.

The med center’s economic impact topped $5.9 billion in the last fiscal year, a 34% increase since 2018, according to the report prepared by Tripp Umbach, a national consultant with expertise in economic impact studies. The current economic impact number grows to $6.4 billion annually when considering the academic-related functions (such as residency programs and research) at UNMC affiliates, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and the VA Health System.

UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and the affiliates also supported more than 56,000 jobs in the Nebraska economy, including not only direct employment, but also indirect jobs created through the supply chain — equipment vendors, construction workers and others.

See the report on the med center’s combined economic impact here.

“UNMC and its clinical partners continue to be an important economic engine for the state of Nebraska,” said Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor of UNMC and chairman of the board at Nebraska Medicine. “As the medical center increases its already expanding national leadership role in health professions education, research and care, our statewide economic impact will increase as well, further benefiting all of the people of Nebraska for generations to come.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical center’s experts and educators provided extensive education and infectious diseases expertise to Nebraskans, efforts which stretched far beyond the economic impact, said James Linder, MD, CEO of Nebraska Medicine.

“One reason that the medical center continues to have such a beneficial economic impact on the state is its devotion to health care,” Dr. Linder said. “As medical center experts worked to keep fellow Nebraskans safe and provide reliable, timely and accurate medical knowledge to the country as a whole, the stature of our partnership and the benefits it provides continue to grow.”

Among the report’s findings:

“The state has been steadfast in its support of the mission of UNMC and its partners,” Dr. Gold said. “We see through this report that, apart from helping to meet the health care needs of our Nebraska neighbors, the state’s support advances not only the health and well-being of the citizens of our state, but it provides them a positive economic benefit as well.”

 

Story from the University of Nebraska at Kearney

“It’s one of the most transformational projects we’ve had on this campus ever.” – UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen

A partnership between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and University of Nebraska Medical Center, the proposed Rural Health Education Building in Kearney will further address the need for more health care workers in the state’s rural areas.

The Rural Health Education Building would build upon an existing partnership between UNK and UNMC that’s shown great success. The two institutions opened a $19 million Health Science Education Complex on UNK’s west campus in 2015, and that facility quickly filled to capacity.

The new Rural Health Education Building would allow UNMC to expand its existing nursing programs and bring new options to the UNK campus, including occupational therapy, medical nutrition, genetic counseling and respiratory care – all high-need areas in rural Nebraska.

For the first time, the UNMC College of Medicine would educate physicians in rural Nebraska, and a Master of Health Administration would be added to complement UNK’s undergraduate program.

The Rural Health Education Building would also offer professional development, training and continuing education opportunities for existing health care workers and support research that improves the lives of Nebraskans.

May 6th through the 12th is the yearly celebration of nurses during Nurse’s Week. The past year has been an extremely trying time for nurses and frontline workers across the country but it’s a perfect time to highlight the education and preparedness the UNMC College of Nursing students receive that prepares them for moments like this. Because of these, we sought to give a few students the opportunity to speak to why this past year has solidified their reasoning to pursue this career path and the responses were nothing more than inspiring.

Brittney DeWald – College of Nursing Northern Division in Norfolk

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reassured me that I have chosen the right career path to serve my community and the public. Nursing is positioned on the front line of patient care and nurses are vital to effect change and improve health care. I never anticipated going through nursing school during a pandemic, but I feel confident that my extensive training at UNMC has prepared me to be successful in my nursing occupation. Ultimately, I aspire to promote patient safety and foster a positive environment in the populations I will be serving with integrity, discipline, and drive.”

Corri Slagle – College of Nursing Kearney Division

“This past year has strengthened my commitment to becoming a nurse because nurses were the ones with boots on the ground as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world with fear. Nurses were the ones holding patients’ hands as they were alone in the fight of their life, and nurses in all capacities stepped up and adapted how we took care of individual patients to keep everyone safe. Seeing the impact of nursing this year has inspired me as I work towards earning my BSN”

Lindsay Kracman – College of Nursing Lincoln Division

“After continuously seeing the devastation of COVID-19 this past year, my desire to become a nurse has strengthened tenfold. I studied harder than I ever had and made sure there would be nothing standing in the way of me walking the stage to get my BSN. I’d see healthcare workers on the news caring for the sick & knew that I needed to finish strong so I could get out there and help as soon as possible. I am thankful for UNMC College of Nursing – Lincoln for providing me the tools to reach this point.”

Sarah Harrison – College of Nursing Omaha Division

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I can remember. My biggest fear entering nursing school was that I would come to realize I didn’t like it or wasn’t cut out for the profession. Man could I have not been more wrong! This year has proven to me that nursing is where I belong and what I’m actually good at! I grew so much more confident in myself and my abilities through my clinical experiences and am no longer fearful, but excited to start my last year of school at UNMC.”

Sopha Kimberly Kongmanyvong – College of Nursing Lincoln Division

“Although everything was shutting down around me because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my passion and desire to become a nurse was only amplified. It definitely strengthened my resilience too. I had the pleasure to care for a couple of COVID patients during my critical care rotation. I have seen full recovery and families experience tremendous loss. It reminded me of how being a part of someone’s life during his or her most vulnerable time is something so special. Given the difficult circumstances with the past year, I would still choose nursing in a heartbeat.”

'Important to be good, do good with money'

Josh Planos

Assistant Director of Communications
Contact: josh.planos@nufoundation.org

UNMC alumna shares passion for nursing and giving back 

Sharon Holyoke remembers that it was December 1966.

The daughter of public school teachers, Sharon was raised in a small community in America’s heartland, taught at an early age to live below her means. The best kind of teaching, they say, is the kind that sticks. So Sharon took that lesson everywhere she went.

Sharon remembers that she had recently graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing and that her monthly paycheck was around $600.

Even though her husband, Edward Holyoke Jr. —  Ted — was in his first year of medical school at the time, Sharon remembers pulling out her checkbook and sending $100 to the University of Nebraska Foundation, to support the institution that had given her an education. It felt like an awful lot of money.

“Ted and I believed it was important to be good with money,” she said. “But it was just as important to do good with money.”

Sharon hasn’t shaken the feeling more than a half-century later.

“The more we gave,” she recalled, “the more satisfaction we received.”

The more we gave, the more satisfaction we received.

The Holyoke legacy is a long one that can be traced back to before the Revolutionary War.

In the 18th century, Edward Holyoke served as president for more than three decades of what was then Harvard College, teaching the likes of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and John Adams.

Today, the surname travels far — especially in Nebraska medical circles. Edward Holyoke, M.D., Sharon’s father-in-law, was an instructor at UNMC for more than 50 years. There’s a giving society that carries his name in the College of Medicine. Ted also graduated from the UNMC college.

In terms of potential career paths, Sharon’s opportunities were slim.

“Growing up, there weren’t a lot of options for women,” Sharon said.

But Sharon knew that she wanted to combine nursing and teaching, and with her father’s encouragement, she was steadfast as she pursued both.

Later, Sharon attended graduate school at the University of Colorado, where she earned her master’s degree while her husband was in his residency. The two returned to Nebraska, put down roots in Ogallala and raised two daughters, Mary Virginia and Ann Christin; a third daughter, Megan Lee, died in infancy. They later returned to Omaha, and Sharon taught at UNMC for more than 30 years, guiding more than 2,000 students through the College of Nursing. Ted mentored young physicians in the UNMC rural residency program.

But in August 1993, the Holyoke family was dealt a painful, incalculable blow when Mary Virginia, the Holyokes’ oldest daughter, died due to a heart condition. Ginny was 23 years old and pursuing a law degree. She had recently gotten married and moved to Omaha.

“It hurt. And it made us realize that we aren’t going to live forever,” Sharon said. “But it caused us to take a new look at giving. Ted liked to say that, ‘You don’t see a U-Haul behind a hearse.’”

A scholarship was created in Ginny’s honor at Hastings College, where she had been valedictorian and homecoming queen.

There are multiple scholarships carrying the Holyoke name at UNMC, including two with Sharon’s name: one for nursing students and the other for general scholarships.

“Our education gave us the tools to earn a living,” Sharon said. “We always wanted to give back to the foundation to thank them.”

Ted died in 2015 after a nearly decadelong battle with gastrointestinal cancer.

Sharon meets with the recipients of her scholarships and is quick to encourage them to give back.  She’s not shy to inquire if some are dating. One told her that she didn’t have time for dating, which sent Sharon into laughter.

“I love to connect with students — they’re just delightful,” she said. “They’re just so refreshing and so impressive.”

Caitlin Jordan, a recipient of the Sharon Bonham Holyoke Nursing Scholarship, had the opportunity to meet Sharon last year.

“She gave us great words of wisdom regarding life and nursing,” said Caitlin. “She’s a wonderful lady and is extremely passionate about nursing as a profession.”

In her will, Sharon has committed to funding two scholarships — one in her name and one in Ted’s.

When asked what her ultimate philanthropic hope is, Sharon finds the words with ease.

“We love what we did,” she said. “And we just hope we leave the world a better place than we started.”

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