STANDISH, Maine — A St. Joseph’s College alumna and trustee announced Saturday a major contribution that will help address critical shortages in the nursing workforce in Maine and beyond.
Dr. Jeanne Donlevy Arnold of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, announced her $2 million gift to the school’s Center for Nursing Innovation during St. Joseph’s 104th commencement exercises Saturday morning at the school’s Sebago Lake campus.
Her contribution is the largest capital gift by any individual in the college’s 105-year history, college spokeswoman Patricia Erikson said in a news release.
Arnold, who earned her bachelor’s degree in professional arts in 1983 from Saint Joseph’s distance learning program, had taken center stage earlier in the ceremony to accept an honorary doctorate of public service.
She was unable to attend her own graduation in 1983 and had expressed excitement that she was returning to her alma mater to accept the doctorate with the Class of 2017.
“Because I believe in Saint Joseph’s College and its mission, I also decided, along with my husband, Ed, to pledge a leadership gift of $2 million dollars to this Campaign to Create the Center for Nursing Innovation at Saint Joseph’s College,” Arnold, retired senior vice president of Good Samaritan Hospital, said when announcing the donation.
In January, when the Harold Alfond Foundation announced its lead challenge grant of $1.5 million to support Saint Joseph’s College’s plan for a Center for Nursing Innovation, Arnold agreed to serve as campaign chair and lead the effort to raise $3.5 million in matching funds.
In recognition of Arnold’s historic gift, the center will be named the Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Center for Nursing Innovation.
The center will address the national healthcare industry’s need for educational programs for nurses, on-campus and online. It will offer five simulation laboratories with both hospital and home care settings; $1 million in scholarships for Maine nursing students; new advising offices for student and faculty meetings, a conference room and a student collaborative learning space; and improved anatomy and physiology and microbiology labs for nursing majors.
During this year’s commencement, St. Joseph’s celebrated the graduation of 671 students from four countries and 37 states, 238 who attended classes on campus and 433 who studied online.