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Anonymous Donor Gifts $1M to Helen Wood Hall Expansion

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Thursday, November 18, 2021

artist depiction of HWH

An anonymous donor recently made a $1 million gift to the University of Rochester School of Nursing to support generations of future nurses.

The donation has been earmarked to support the expansion of Helen Wood Hall, the home of the UR School of Nursing, which is currently undergoing a $15 million renovation to include more technologically enhanced experiential and collaborative learning spaces.

The $1 million gift, provided by a prominent member of the Rochester business community, is one of several large anonymous donations the school has received in recent years to support its operations. The donor had benefited from nursing care at home in the past and wanted to make a gift to recognize nurses for their selfless care and compassion for others.

“We are extremely grateful for this donor’s generosity, which will help us provide transformative nursing education for years to come,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “Our shared commitment to providing a cutting-edge home to learn and improve upon the science and craft of nursing will have an immeasurable impact on the health care providers and leaders of tomorrow, as well as the Rochester community who will benefit from their advanced education.”

Built in 1925, Helen Wood Hall is the original home of the University of Rochester’s nursing program. The building served as a dormitory in its early years, with its residential space later converted to classrooms, clinical learning spaces, and private offices. The need for larger and “smarter” classrooms as well as other student gathering spaces led to the 26,000-square-foot addition in 2006 of the Loretta C. Ford Education Wing, named for the school’s founding dean and the co-creator of the nurse practitioner role.

The current vertical expansion project will add three floors above the Ford Education Wing and will allow for larger, more sophisticated skills and simulation labs, additional classrooms, and dozens of collaborative learning spaces, which will be vital to prepare students for a rapidly changing profession.

The new addition is slated to officially open for student use in the spring of 2022.

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