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Loyola receives $250,000 to establish endowed lecture for nursing

Blue sky is a backdrop for Alumni Memorial Chapel and the stone side of the Sellinger School building

91快活林 received $250,000 from Geraldine Johnson Geckle, 鈥74, to establish the Geckle Endowed Lecture for Nursing. The annual lecture will support Loyola鈥檚 new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. 

鈥淭he lecture will bring innovative and inspirational leaders to Loyola every year, giving students the opportunity to learn from those who鈥檝e shaped the field of nursing,鈥 said Brian M. Oakes, 鈥99, MBA 鈥10, vice president for advancement. 鈥淕erry鈥檚 forward-thinking gift follows Loyola鈥檚 mission of inspiring students to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world.鈥

The Geckle Endowed Lecture for Nursing will bring faculty members, students, and the community together to discuss topics such as advancements and challenges in patient care, ethics and social change, diversity in human experience, health equity, and nurse well-being and leadership development.

鈥淢ost of my professional career has been in health care,鈥 said Geckle, who is a member of Loyola鈥檚 Board of Trustees. 鈥淭he pandemic placed a spotlight on the shortage of nursing professionals nationally. Loyola鈥檚 outstanding faculty in the sciences is a perfect fit to lay the foundation for the new nursing program, and supporting the launch will help lay the groundwork for future success.鈥

Geckle, senior vice president for human resources at Universal Health Services, was one of the first women enrolled at Loyola when she arrived as a transfer student in the 1970s. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at a time of significant change for the formerly all-male college. Her son, Christopher, followed her and enrolled at Loyola as a member of the Class of 2012.

Today, Geckle serves as a trustee after years of leadership on the Board of Advisors for Loyola College, the University鈥檚 school of the arts and sciences. Loyola presented Geckle with the Carroll Medal in 2018 for her noteworthy and meritorious service to the University.

鈥淲e鈥檙e grateful to Gerry for her generosity,鈥 said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. 鈥淗er gift will support the new nursing program鈥檚 mission to educate and inspire future nurses in the tradition of the Jesuit, Catholic, commitment to the whole person and excellence in learning.鈥

Loyola鈥檚 Bachelor of Science in Nursing will integrate the University鈥檚 liberal arts foundation with a holistic nursing education, steeped in the Jesuit tradition of care and social justice. Education in direct patient care will include a wide range of clinical rotations at Loyola鈥檚 nursing education partner, in Baltimore.

Upon approval from the Maryland Board of Nursing, Loyola is preparing to welcome the first BSN cohort in fall of 2025.