STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) – The University of Connecticut has received a $40 million grant for the School of Nursing, according to school officials.
The university shared in an announcement on Friday that alumna Elisabeth DeLuca (1969) made the generous donation. DeLuca is a former nurse and the widow of Subway founder Frederick DeLuca.
University officials said the donation will go toward scholarship and program support for a nursing education that includes patient-centered practice, interdisciplinary research and technology-based inventions.
The gift will be also used to support the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility for the UConn School of Nursing in Storrs.
The UConn Board of Trustees approved the plan for the building at a meeting on June 28. It was determined that $30,000 in state bonds would go toward the new nursing facility, officials said.
The Board of Trustees voted on Friday to allocate the funds to the university, as DeLuca’s gift supports the project, officials said.
“When Elisabeth sees a need at her alma mater, she steps forward… She is all about creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for nursing students, and she wants them to interact with engineering and pharmacy students and challenge each team to come up with an innovative product or method to improve nursing and then pitch it to the audience. This gift allows the UConn School of Nursing to build on its history of educating highly skilled nurses who will lead and innovate, addressing the nursing shortage while also driving impactful change in health care,” UConn President Radenka Maric said.
The gift will also help to address the nursing shortage in the United States, which is projected to continue past 2030. The funding will be used to hire nursing faculty and staff.
In addition, the funding will allow the UConn School of Nursing to increase its enrollment from 175 to a minimum of 250 students, university officials said.