By: RACHAEL PITTMAN
The Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall was filled with faculty and red-scrub-wearing students for an invite-only event celebrating the naming of the Vera D. Dwyer College of Health Sciences.
The Dwyer Charitable Trust recently made a generous donation to IU South Bend for the health sciences school. Present for the dedication were David Kibee, Jim Kline and Jeff Welsh of the trust administration. John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs, spoke for a majority of the dedication.
At a post-ceremony banquet in The University Grille, Chancellor Terry Allison spoke of his impression of the area when he was coming in for his interview nearly two years ago. He noted the two large area hospitals and recognized the need for future nurses and doctors as Indiana continues to rank low in overall health.
The $5.85 million donation is the largest philanthropic donation in IU South Bend history. Along with the donation for the school, The Dwyer Charitable Trust also donated $1 million for scholarships. Money is also being donated to fund the Health and Wellness Center, which provides low cost care on campus. In total, the trust donated $7.85 million.
Mario Ortiz, the Dean for the Vera D Dwyer Health Sciences School, noted the several dozen students that are benefiting from this donation, allowing students to have, “education that is almost free,” he said.
Students like Rachel Cole directly benefit from these donations. Cole is one of the many non-traditional students in the nursing program. While being discouraged by other schools, she was also told by her doctor she could not have a child, and then became pregnant with her daughter while she was in school.
“All my daughter knows is mommy’s studying,” she said.
She expressed her gratitude for these donations and scholarships. The trustees were able to see her gratitude and met with her after she spoke. They enthusiastically shook her hand, and one of them gave her a hug.
Tamera Garrett and Mariah Mareck performed music during the ceremony, as per tradition at IUSB.
A painting of Mrs. Dwyer will hang in the school that was unveiled at the ceremony. She was known for her philanthropy in the community. The painting itself is relatively small, but her continuing impact in this community is enormous.