Georgian Court University students pursuing nursing and other health professions will benefit from a generous $200,000 donation made by the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation.
This major gift, the first by the foundation to GCU, will provide crucial scholarship support to an area where there is great need.
“We are so grateful to the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation for their visionary support of Georgian Court. The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the critical need for quality nurses and health care professionals in New Jersey,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.
“The foundation’s gift means that four students seeking to serve in health care roles will be able to count on much-needed scholarship funds as they pursue their degrees,” Dr. Marbach said, adding that the first scholarships will be awarded this fall to high-achieving students in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
Supporting the Work of Nurses
From patient bedsides to community health locations, nurses continue to play a central role in the fight against COVID-19. During the pandemic, retired nurses, nurses from noncritical care units and in some cases, senior nursing students, have answered the call to help. The Plangere-funded scholarships address the need to support the work of nurses.
“As the worldwide spread of COVID-19 evolved, the foundation decided to focus on charities that provide direct COVID-19 assistance to the local community. We contacted several organizations and, with their cooperation and guidance, allocated funds to assist them in their ongoing efforts to support COVID-19 related activities,” said Alfred Colantoni, a trustee with the foundation.
“Philanthropy can play an essential role in addressing the immediate and long-term implications of this crisis in our communities,” he continued. “The situation is changing daily, and the philanthropic community, including the foundation, will need to continue to monitor the status of relief efforts and allocate resources to where it is needed the most.”
Nursing Scholarships Provide Access
In nursing and other health care professions, access matters. The foundation also aims to ensure unrepresented and at-risk students have all the resources they need to pursue their education. Forty percent of full-time Georgian Court students are first in their families to attend college and about four in 10 come from lower-income households.
“By directly recruiting more nursing students, we are creating additional pathways for growth and providing financial incentives to those most deserving,” said Teri Wurmser, RN, M.P.H., Ph.D., dean of the Georgian Court–Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing.
“Georgian Court University is at the forefront of creating a talented and dedicated pipeline of health professionals to meet the societal needs of our community,” said Dr. Wurmser. “This latest gift reinforces that.”
The Georgian Court–Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing has nearly 400 nursing majors and attracts highly talented students from across Central and South New Jersey. The school offers both B.S.N. and RN to B.S.N. programs. Since 2015, enrollment of nursing majors is up 103 percent, and nursing is now the largest undergraduate major at GCU. By graduation, more than 90 percent of GCU nursing graduates are employed—often by Hackensack Meridian Health facilities across the state. As a result, GCU nursing graduates serve families and patients throughout Ocean, Monmouth, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Middlesex counties.
About Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation
Established in 1997, the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation, founded by the late Jules L. Plangere Jr. and his wife, Jane, continues their philanthropic legacy of supporting numerous critical programs that enrich the lives of thousands of people in the Jersey Shore area and beyond. The primary mission of the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Foundation is to support local charitable organizations that feed hungry children and families, shelter people without homes, deliver meals to elders, fund educational institutions, and support the health care system and essential workers, medical research, and people in recovery (mental health issues).