Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Ph.D. has made two gifts to the VCU School of Nursing. One honors her friend and classmate with a scholarship. A planned gift will provide unrestricted support for the School of Nursing so that future nurses can receive the best possible nursing education. Photo: Tyler Trumbo, MCV Foundation

Scholarship and Planned Gift Strengthen Nursing

Nursing professionals were in short supply before the pandemic, and the strains of providing care during Covid-19 have intensified a nationwide shortage of nurses. That particular challenge caught the attention of Barbara Brown, Ph.D., a 1970 graduate of the VCU School of Nursing Class.

“Nursing education is expensive, and nursing programs are always stretched for funds,” Dr. Brown said. “Nursing programs also have to keep up with the changing technologies. It’s not a one-time investment and there are yearly costs, such as ensuring simulation labs used to train nurses offer state-of-the-art instructional tools.”

Dr. Brown wanted to help after years of seeing the problem grow. Her first step was to create an endowed scholarship to help keep a nursing education within financial reach for students. With the scholarship, she also wanted to honor her close friend and classmate, Barbie Dunn, Ph.D., for her many years of volunteer service and advocacy for the School of Nursing. The two met 50 years ago at the School of Nursing, and Dr. Dunn has been instrumental in making sure their tight-knit group of friends remained close.

“A big part of nursing is bringing people together,” Dr. Brown said, “So with this scholarship, I wanted to say thank you to Barbie for 50 years of keeping us together and to help VCU continue to provide a quality education.”

Dr. Brown also decided to make a planned gift by designating the School of Nursing as a beneficiary of her individual retirement account (IRA). The process, she said, was easy and clear. She chose to leave her gift unrestricted so that future leaders of the School of Nursing could apply the gift where it would make the biggest impact on educating future nurses.

“There will never be enough nurses,” Dr. Brown said. “Supporting the VCU School of Nursing will help ensure it has the resources necessary to provide the best possible nursing education.”

If you are interested in learning how to make a planned gift through a beneficiary designation that supports the MCV Campus, please contact Ann Deppman, assistant vice president for gift planning at VCU.