|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
||December 23, 2003
||Vicki Hewitt, Public Affairs Manager, (361) 825-2336
Nursing Program Receives $50,000
Endowment for Nursing Scholarships
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s newly approved School
of Nursing and Health Sciences received a shot in the arm recently in
the form of a $50,000 nursing scholarship endowment from the Dr. and
Mrs. Hugh A. Kennedy Foundation. The Foundation’s president, attorney
Martin C. Davis, presented the check to University President Dr. Robert
R. Furgason at a reception also attended by University officials and
Hugh Kennedy Foundation board members Avalee Byrd, James Roach and Linda
“This is truly a wonderful gift because more quality nurses
is what our community and the country needs. We feel the University is
service by growing our School of Nursing and Health Sciences,” Furgason
A&M-Corpus Christi’s School of Nursing is fully accredited
by the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas and the Commission
Nursing Education. Nursing graduates from the University have an impressive
95.58 percent pass rate on their state board examinations. Since 2001,
the nursing program has grown from 187 to nearly 700.
Davis said that the Foundation was proud to play a part in meeting the
University’s need for additional resources to add to the success
of its nursing programs.
Dr. Kennedy was a physician in this community for 40 years.
We know he would have wanted to encourage bright young people to pursue
in the medical field,” Davis said. “He would also want those
nursing grad uates to stay in the Corpus Christi area in order to benefit
the community he loved and served throughout his life.”
Beginning in Fall 2004, scholarship money created from the Dr. and Mrs.
Hugh A. Kennedy Foundation endowment will assist deserving nursing students
who reside within a 75-mile radius of Corpus Christi and who have expressed
an intent to remain and work in the Coastal Bend area.
Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton, director of nursing and health sciences,
stated that she had worked with Kennedy at Spohn Hospital in the 1960s.
“Dr. Kennedy was an excellent physician and a joy to work with.
He was ahead of the times because not all physicians at that time approached
patient care as a doctor/nurse/patient partnership, but he did,”Hamilton
Cadigan of Christus Spohn, who serves as the treasurer of the Hugh Kennedy
Foundation, is excited about the endowment and what it will do to meet
the nursing shortage in Corpus Christi.
“When Christus Spohn’s new building opens, we will need 100 new
nurses,” Cadigan said. “With Spohn working toward magnet
status, the highest status for hospitals, we will be looking for high
Dr. Diana Marinez, dean of the College of Science and Technology, said
that the need for program expansion would only become greater.
“On Island Day this year, which is when high school students come
to learn about the University, we had more students interested in nursing
ever before. These funds will go directly to our students,” Marinez
The late Dr. Kennedy was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical
School. He moved to Corpus Christi in 1940 to work at the Naval Air
Station Hospital before construction was even completed on the facility.
He proposed to his sweetheart
from Wisconsin, Margaret Thompson, and they were married on December
28, 1940 in Corpus Christi Cathedral. During World War II, Kennedy treated
wounded soldiers on the front lines in Europe. He then practiced general
medicine in Corpus Christi for more than 40 years before retiring in
1990. Kennedy passed away on March 24, 2000 at the age of 81.