The University of Southern Indiana Foundation has received a $2 million leadership gift from the estate of the late Hershel B. Whitney for nursing scholarships.
The Hershel B. Whitney Nursing Scholarship Endowment will honor the life and legacy of Whitney while providing scholarships for University of Southern Indiana undergraduate students who have been accepted into the Nursing Program. The Nursing Program at USI’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has a tradition of academic excellence. Since 2018, USI Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohorts have achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam, issued by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, exceeding the national average pass rate of 86% to 88%. Of graduates since 2018, more than 83% have chosen to remain in Indiana to provide care.
“We continue to be grateful for the generosity of Mr. Whitney. Now, more than ever, we recognize the invaluable care provided by nursing professionals in our community, our country and around the world, said Ronald S. Rochon, USI President. “This gift will provide financial assistance to USI students who have met the high standards required for entry into our Nursing Program. These scholarships will be meaningful to the individuals who have made the thoughtful decision to dedicate their lives to the nursing profession and care of others.”
Dr. Ann White, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, commented, “Our nursing students continuously take on rigorous academic coursework and clinical hours required of the Nursing Program. The Hershel B. Whitney Nursing Scholarships will help ease the financial challenges of recipients as they work to become outstanding healthcare providers. We are immensely appreciative of Mr. Whitney’s investment in our students, faculty and program.”
Whitney resided in Indianapolis and was employed with Eli Lilly and Company until his retirement. Following his death in 2015, the Hershel B. Whitney Charitable Trust selected the University of Southern Indiana to make a positive impact on programs that enhance the care and support of the population. In 2018, the Hershel B. Whitney Professorship in Gerontology and the Hershel B. Whitney Occupational Therapy Endowment were established at USI with a leadership gift from the trust.