Did you hear the one about the college dean who does stand-up comedy? Gloria Ferraro Donnelly, RN, PhD, FAAN, the dean of Drexel Universitys College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia, fulfilled a lifelong dream May 6 by stepping onstage as the featured performer in a fundraising event at Geary Lecture Hall on the Center City Campus.
The show, called STaND UP, raised well over its $50,000 goal (the total was $64,173 at press time) for scholarships and an emergency fund to aid nursing students at the college.
After being introduced by emcee Ronald Comer, associate professor and director, behavior and addictions counseling sciences, as a legendary com-dean-ienne, Donnelly offered tales of her childhood in South Philadelphia attending summer matinee movies.Being onstage as a stand-up comic fulfilled a lifelong dream for Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions dean Gloria Ferraro Donnelly.
For Donnelly, actresses such as Esther Williams, Moira Shearer and Mitzi Gaynor were role models who were assertive, independent and spunky. Donnelly was particularly intrigued by Carmen Miranda, the highest-paid woman in the world who never played in a starring role, and got a big laugh from the nearly 200 attendees by speculating this may have influenced why she chose a career in nursing.
The program also featured pianist Loren Gildar, a student in Drexels music therapy program, and vocalist Hannah Oakman-Brown, coordinator for the schools MSN programs.
DVDs of the performance are being sold online at Drexel.edu/cnhp/standup, with proceeds to support the Deans Emergency Fund, which helps students with short-term financial issues such as difficulty affording textbooks.
Donna Novak is Director, Nursing Communications & Initiatives at Nursing Spectrum.