Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore has received a $1.5 million gift from the Pitts Family Foundation, among the largest gifts received from a university alumna, that will fund the first endowed chair in the universitys school of nursing. The Frances Kay Pitts ’96 Endowed Chair for Nursing Leadership in Women and Children’s Health will provide funding for scholarship, research and special projects in the school of nursing, according to a news release.
Frances Kay Pitts graduated with a BSN in 1996 from Notre Dame and earned an MS from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She became a certified nurse midwife in 1999 as part of a 37-year nursing career. Her husband, James F. Pitts, retired in 2012 from the Northrop Grumman Corporation as a corporate vice president and president of the electronic systems sector.
Dean Katharine C. Cook, PhD, RN, said the gift comes at an auspicious time for the school of nursing. Our school is rapidly expanding and this gift will enrich the learning experience for our students and help to enhance our program, Cook said in the release. In addition, it will support faculty scholarship.
Pitts said that while she studied at Notre Dame, she continued working as a nurse at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center while raising her family. She took classes on weekends when she could and finished her degree after 15 years.
During a recent visit to Notre Dame, Pitts said she was extremely impressed by the nursing schools Center for Caring with Technology, which uses sophisticated simulation experiences to aid students in developing essential nursing skills, while also enabling them to practice and experience first-hand care.
These students will be prepared when they enter the workplace, she said in the release. Its amazing to see the level of technology that is helping them to learn the many skills you need as a nurse. To think that this endowed chair will enable these opportunities to expand even more, its exciting for me. It makes me proud to be part of it.