Gratitude abounds at donor, recipient reception


Scholarship recipients pose in front of the donor appreciation word wall.

By Andy Goodell, Communications Manager
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Scholarship recipients at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing expressed their appreciation to donors who helped make their leadership-focused nursing education possible during a reception at the Druid Hills Golf Club. The event included more than 170 donors and student scholarship recipients.

Following President Claire E. Sterk and Dean Linda McCauley welcoming attendees and sharing about the impact donors make to the School of Nursing and Emory University, several scholarship recipients told their personal stories of achievement and thanks for their individual scholarships.

Students expressing their thanks were Hannah Spero (19AMSN), a Sally T. Lehr Scholar and Helene Fuld Health Trust Fellow in Palliative Care; Ndinda (20AMSN), a Helene Fuld Health Trust Fellow in Social Responsibility and Dean’s Scholar; and Pele Solell (17Ox 19BSN), a Seavey Murphy Adopt-A-Scholar. All scholarship recipients also shared words to describe what their scholarship meant to them in advance of the reception to create a wall of appreciation as donors entered the ballroom.

Donors also had the opportunity to learn about the impact giving has made to the school’s service learning, simulation and research with demonstrations and displays throughout the reception.


LisaMarie Wands, PhD, RN, CHSE, CNE, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Simulation Resource Director, shows Eileen Jones (77BSN) a premature infant simulator, the newest addition to the Charles F. and Peggy Evans Simulation Center.

During the program, Hannah shared that she worked 60-hour weeks at a VA hospital as a nursing assistant to afford all of her nursing prerequisites and application fees. It is solely because of the generosity of her scholarship donors that she was able to come to Emory. Hannah shared that being at Emory has allowed her to accomplish her dream of becoming a nurse, offered her the most valuable mentors for the rest of her life and continues to build her skill set and confidence as she pursues an MSN and works to become an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Hannah’s scholarship allows her to focus on her studies and other activities to enhance her clinical experience and develop her leadership abilities.

“Thank you for my scholarship,” says Hannah to donors. “You have made it possible for me to continue through this program and maintain motivation to excel in order to have my chance to pay it forward. You have truly changed my life.”

Ndinda also expressed thanks to donors at the reception. Her journey began with pre-medicine, then on to public health and preventive medicine, and now women’s health. According to Ndinda, the School of Nursing supports its students to ensure success in the real world and provides opportunities for research, practice and medical missions in the rural U.S. as well as in the developing world. The mission of the school is to educate visionary nurse leaders and scholars. Ndinda believes the values of commitment to high quality health care, partnerships and social responsibility held by the school will influence her nursing practice in a positive way.

“I firmly believe in treating everyone with respect and dignity and that will be one of my main roles as a women’s health provider and patient advocate,” says Ndinda “Every opportunity in life is a chance to both educate and be educated.”


Pele Solell (17Ox 19BSN) poses with the donor of her Seavey Murphy Adopt-A-Scholar scholarship, Cheryl Murphy 77BSN.

Pele closed the program by sharing that one of the best parts about receiving her scholarship has been the tangible connection with someone that supports her. Seeing how the alumni stay connected to the Emory School of Nursing and to each other furthers her appreciation for an Emory education and the relationships she has made. She plans on obtaining a graduate degree in nursing in order to apply her nursing values to the global or public health arena. Pele is passionate about population health and involving community stakeholders, individuals and holistic assessments of health inequities, disparities and needs in order to ensure health care is enacted as a human right. Her scholarship allows her to be enriched with multiple experiences that make nursing school not just about learning skills, but instilling values to shape the health care system now and in the future.

“I am so thankful for Cheryl Murphy for ‘adopting’ me as her scholar, as well as the entire School of Nursing community for the encouragement, challenges and opportunities throughout my BSN degree,” says Solell.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *