Gwynedd-Mercy College Alumna Donates $5 Million to Nursing School as it Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary

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Frances M. Maguire, an alumna of Gwynedd-Mercy College, has donated $5 million toward an endowment to the nursing school that will now bear her name. Her gift will meet immediate needs for nursing students and faculty in three important areas: scholarships, faculty support and best-practice technology and equipment.

Frances M. Maguire, an alumna of Gwynedd-Mercy College (GMC), has donated $5 million toward an endowment to the nursing school that will now bear her name. Her gift will meet immediate needs for nursing students and faculty in three important areas: scholarships, faculty support and best-practice technology and equipment.

The gift, creating the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing, came as the school celebrated its 50th anniversary this month.

The contribution is the largest-ever alumni gift in the history of the college. Maguire, of Wyndmoor, Pa., graduated from GMC in 1955, receiving an associate degree in healthcare. Maguire, the daughter of a surgeon and a nurse, returned to GMC in the mid-1970s to study nursing. She is the mother of eight children and grandmother of 21.

"I have always been a believer in remembering where I came from and giving back in some way to those who have helped me to get where I am today," Maguire said in a statement.

The nursing school enrolls more than 500 students and receives 1,300 applications annually.

"This extraordinary gift will transform our already excellent nursing program and take it to new levels to enhance the reputation of Mercy nurses throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond," GMC President Kathleen Owens, Ph.D., said in a statement. "Our students will now have the very best learning environment with the real-world simulation of a hospital setting."

The Maguire Foundation has a mission to invest in education where there is a high probability of good return, and GMC is well known for its high graduation rates and excellent career preparation for students. In June, GMC was listed among the top 10 schools nationally in its category by the American Enterprise Institute.*

The college attributes its high graduation rates to its dedication to meeting students' needs. "Everyone works as a team to put students first," Owens said.

"Gwynedd-Mercy College would never give up on a student," Maguire said. "Its faculty and staff always encourage students to move forward, ask for help and follow their dreams."

Originally founded in 1948 by the Sisters of Mercy as a junior college, Gwynedd-Mercy College was rechartered in 1963 as a baccalaureate institution. GMC today is a coeducational, independent, non-profit, comprehensive college that offers a wide variety of programs, including the nursing school and the Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL), dedicated to the needs of working adults. All CLL programs are value-centered, accelerated and of the highest educational quality.

CLL has business, management and healthcare degree programs specifically designed to fit the busy lives of working adults. Degree programs include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for RNs and a Master of Science in Management degree in a new blended, online and onground format. Classes are held one night a week at learning centers conveniently situated in downtown Philadelphia and at a new location in Plymouth Meeting.

For more information on CLL and nursing degree programs call 877-499-6333, or visit http://www.gmcdegrees.com.

*Graduation rates were based on U.S. Department of Education six-year graduation rates for nearly 1.2 million freshmen who entered college in 2001, under categories defined by Barron's Profiles of American Colleges. The study looked at 1,385 four-year colleges.

Gwynedd-Mercy College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680. http://www.msche.org - [267 284-5000) and the National League for Nursing (61 Broadway, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10006. [212 363-5555).

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Jamie Kravcak
Gwynedd-Mercy College
877-499-6333 ext. 101
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