$1 Million donation
Nursing to be renamed in honor of donor’s mother
Kelsey Renz | reporter
The Pittsburg State University School of Nursing, now the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing, announced a $1 million gift from Dr. Fay Bradley at a ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 3.
The department, elevated to the rank of school in May in tribute to the growth of the program, was renamed in honor of Bradley’s mother, Irene.
Irene Ransom Bradley was born in 1906 and raised in Texas. In 1919 she moved to Independence. She married Henry Bradley and they raised six children together.
Bradley says his mother believed in the power of education and health, despite having never finished high school and devoting much of her life to making sure her children were never without.
“All six of her children received their high school diplomas, and four of the six earned college degrees,” said Steve Scott, university president. “Fay went on to earn professional degrees in both law and medicine.”
Irene often talked about returning to school and earning a degree in nursing; however, she died in 1996 at age of 90.
“There were a lot of things that she did that were nursing,” said Mary Louise Wilson, Bradley’s sister, said. “If she would’ve graduated and been able to have gone to college, she would’ve been a grand nurse.”
Bradley first approached the school about a monetary gift in 1996 after his mother died. Only in the past five years, however, has there been any cooperation and discussion about terms.
“As I think of the impact (Dr. Bradley’s) gift will make to the future of our program, I can’t help but think of the words of Florence Nightingale: ‘…Keep this simple question in (your) head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to always be done?’” said Mary Carol Pomato, chair of the nursing program.
Not only did Bradley bestow this gift on the nursing program, but he says he will also continue to be involved with the new school.
“I’m going to raise more funds and I’m going to have an endowment for the nursing students as well as the staff to have continued education,” Bradley said.
Students in the nursing program say they look forward to continuing their education in the school, with the help of Bradley’s gift.
“Each of us looks forward to coming here and have a goal of coming here,” said Emily Mika, junior in nursing. “This gift shows that we’re not unrecognized.”
Jaimie Berberich, senior in nursing, agrees.
“It affirms that I chose the right school and the right profession,” Berberich said.
Details regarding what the money will be used for are still being discussed.