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Changing What's Possible through Philanthropy

The power of giving, the spirit of philanthropy.

Scholarship established by former leader in president’s office helps nontraditional student

‘This reaffirms that, yes, you belong here’

Fifteen years after closing her textbooks, Melissa Koci packed up the life she built out west and came home to chase a dream she thought she had abandoned as a teenager...Read More

Pharmacy alumni, ’95, commit to taking care of patients, mentoring the next generation

'If we’ve proven one concept, it’s that you can take care of people in this corporate climate.'

Kelly and Kandi Hunt, a husband-and-wife business team, joke that they’d be a lot skinnier if they didn’t run a traditional family pharmacy...Read More

Recent graduate John "Taco" Robinson worked a fast-food job to pay for med school

'At $6.50 an hour, you have to really decide what's important. Working that job was a big part of my life.'

John Robinson picked up a job at Taco Bell as a teenager with a singular goal in mind: to save enough money to attend a pre-medical school summer camp between high school and his freshman year of college...Read More

Small-town family doctor establishes scholarship to help students pursue community medicine

Dr. Sam Stone and wife

'Don't let the debt determine what you do for the rest of your life'

Dr. Sam Stone planned his career at 5 years old and describes the years that followed as “one of those boring stories...Read More

Health Professions alumna commits to community health – and its next generation of leaders

Diane Mathews at Lowcountry AHEC

'After a life-threatening diagnosis, you realize that you’re not guaranteed another day, let alone a year or years. You become braver.'

Diane Mathews spent the first half of her career as a dedicated medical technologist, analyzing blood and fluids in a clinical laboratory and diagnosing blood-related cancers alongside pathologists...Read More

Physician assistant establishes scholarship to help other military personnel

‘With dedication and hard work, they can accomplish great things’

When Col. Mike La Belle decided to go to physician assistant school, he brought years of experience working as an operating room and emergency room technician in the Air Force but only nine hours of college credit...Read More

Former Marine Corps sniper earns med-school scholarship

"There was no money for college"

The Medical College Admissions Test doesn’t gauge an aspiring doctor’s physical fitness, psychological stamina or ability to battle sleep deprivation...Read More

Sunset Rotary Club gives $2,500 to fund advanced education for South Carolina nurse

Charleston, SC - The Sunset Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island has contributed $2,500 to the Medical University of South Carolina, enabling the College of Nursing to offer a scholarship to a nursing student from the Hilton Head area.

The donation will allow one nurse per year to continue his or her nursing education and pursue a baccalaureate or master's degree through the college's online learning program.

"The gift from Sunset Rotary Club comes at a critical time, when the nation is in the midst of a severe nursing shortage," said Gail Stuart, the college's dean. A 2005 report published by the Department of Health and Human Services projects a shortage of 29 percent or over 800,000 registered nurses, including 6,741 in South Carolina, by the year 2020. "Unless this trend is reversed, the nursing shortage could have a devastating impact on the delivery of healthcare services in South Carolina and the nation as a whole," said Stuart.

As one response to the nursing workforce crisis, the college instituted online learning programs that allow it to deliver its nursing curriculum in a cost-effective manner to students in offsite locations throughout the entire state of South Carolina. Since its inception in 2003, the online curriculum has helped nurses across the state obtain their baccalaureate degrees while remaining in their own communities. "This is critically important since about three-fourths of registered nurses in the state have an associate's degree. Many of these individuals wish to receive their baccalaureate degree in nursing but are constrained by work and family commitments," said Stuart.

The Sunset Rotary Club hopes that its gift will inspire other Rotary Clubs in the state to take action and respond to the nursing shortage by supporting the online learning programs and other nursing initiatives as well.

"We are delighted to make this $2,500 donation and we look forward to meeting the nursing student who will benefit from the scholarship," Rotary Club President F. Truitt Rabun, Jr. said.

Dean Gail Stuart is excited about the Sunset Rotary Club's support of the college's online learning program and what it means for the citizens of South Carolina.

"We are incredibly grateful for the Sunset Rotary Club's contribution and for their support of nursing in South Carolina," Stuart said. "This gift does more than provide one nurse with advance learning opportunities. It also reveals the club's dedication to the health and well-being of the citizens of South Carolina. For that we are most thankful."