The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) has received a $13.83 million commitment from Bill and Joanne Conway through their Bedford Falls Fund to create an additional 345 Conway scholarships across all degree programs, which cover in-state tuition, fees and (at the undergraduate level) books. The gift also includes $1 million to support renovation of the nursing building at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville.
This transformational gift, the largest in UMSON’s history, is the fourth donation to UMSON from the Conways, who have pledged nearly $30 million over the past six years. At the conclusion of this pledge, which will support students from fall 2022 to fall 2027, the Conways will have funded more than 830 Conway Scholarships.
In addition to supporting the continuation of UMSON’s Conway Scholars program, the gift provides $1 million to facilitate UMSON’s expansion at USG. The School offers its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and its Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at USG; to provide space for these programs’ growth, USG’s Building I has been designated solely for the School of Nursing. The renovation of this space will allow for significant expansion of the simulation labs, create a student success suite, and provide an administrative suite.
As a sign of gratitude for the Conways’ ongoing generosity, as of December 2020, the UMSON deanship will carry the Conway name, becoming The Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
In April 2015, the Conways made their first pledge, of $5.24 million over five years, to UMSON to expand enrollment in the entry-into-nursing BSN program and to increase opportunities for registered nurses to obtain their BSN degrees. Less than two years later, they pledged another $2 million to provide scholarships for master’s and doctoral students and to support the launch of the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at USG. And in April 2018, they pledged an additional $8.2 million to continue the Conway Scholars program.
The demographics of Conway Scholars represent the diversity of UMSON’s student body, with 59% of Conway Scholars from minority and underrepresented populations (32% Black/African American, 12% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 5% other/more than one race); 11% of scholars are male. The scholars range in age from 18 – 52. In addition to full scholarships, Conway Scholars receive valuable coaching and mentoring services from faculty mentors through UMSON’s Student Success Center.