VCU School of Nursing celebrates more than 30 years of scholarships
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing and the Medical College of Virginia Foundation held a stewardship luncheon on Oct. 11 to celebrate the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the thousands of scholarships it has awarded VCU nursing students over the past 30 years.
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation was established in 1946 by Conkey Pate Whitehead as a memorial to his mother, Lettie, with the purpose of educating women. The foundation provides scholarships to more than 150 VCU School of Nursing students each year. This year, 163 students with an average grade point average of 3.7 were selected.
Victoria “Vicki” Tedeschi is one of those recipients. Tedeschi, a School of Nursing graduate and registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at VCU Medical Center, is pursuing her master’s degree to become a family nurse practitioner. As a keynote speaker, Tedeschi spoke about how the scholarship has benefitted her education and thanked Hobie Claiborne, M.D., and Herbert Claiborne III, trustees of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, for their generosity with a gift on behalf of all of the scholarship recipients.
“Thank you to the MCV Foundation and those who make the Whitehead scholarship possible,” Tedeschi said. “I am beyond grateful for your support towards my education. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal of becoming a family nurse practitioner and has inspired me to help others by giving back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.”
More than $6 million in scholarships have been awarded to nursing students at VCU since the first was given in 1984.
“The foundation’s reach, influence and the impact of what they’ve done for women in education is absolutely incredible,” said Margaret Ann Bollmeier, president of the MCV Foundation. “Here at VCU on the MCV Campus, it’s the largest scholarship that is given every year.”
“I had the opportunity to visit the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation’s central office in Atlanta and I was so moved by its commitment to nursing,” said Marsha Rappley, M.D., CEO of VCU Health and vice president of health sciences at VCU. “They provide scholarships in nine states across the country, mostly in the South, and thousands upon thousands of women have not only been able to have a career in nursing, but also to take care of themselves in the world, to be competent as women, as mothers and as leaders in their community because of this investment. I’m excited for all that lies ahead for our nursing students and deeply grateful to the foundation.”
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