Donors’ Generosity Provides Support through College of Nursing Student Emergency Fund

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Vol. II, Issue 3 – 9/10/18

Tom (’69) and Sue Freeman know the true impact a nurse can make on a patient’s life. When Mimi, Tom’s wife of 50 years became ill, Tom was touched by the level of empathy her nurses provided her throughout her care. They showed compassion, caring and understanding which allowed Mimi to spend her finals days with grace and strength. Tom’s current wife Sue had a similar experience with the hospice care her husband Dave received. Dave’s nurse was a “healing angel” according to Sue. She would consistently go above and beyond for her buddy and even mended his pants to have a Velcro closure so they would be easier for him to manipulate.

Wanting others to experience the quality of care their former spouses received, Tom and Sue made a gift to the College of Nursing Student Emergency Fund. When asked why the chose to support the emergency fund they responded that when they heard some students weren’t able to graduate due to unexpected financial burdens, they knew they had to provide a resource to allow them the opportunity to continue their education. They, in turn, have shown the same level of understanding and compassion to our students that they received through their own experiences with area nurses. Sue commented that they realized how easily it is to take something like keeping the electricity on for granted but how that very thing can stand in the way of a nursing student pursuing their dreams.

A recent recipient of a scholarship from the CON Student Emergency Fund, knew that burden all too well. Debra Thomas (’18) had her home in the US Virgin Islands devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Thomas faced the choice of paying for gas to maintain her generator running or paying her tuition to complete her nursing degree. Thankfully, due to the Freeman's generosity, it was a decision she never had to make. Thomas graduated this past Spring and plans to continue her education to become a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Women’s Health to help her home in a way where it is needed most. The Freemans and Thomas both know the importance of helping those who need it most when they need it most.

Join Tom and Sue’s commitment by donating to the CON Student Emergency Fund. The fund will be featured as the College of Nursing’s Giving Tuesday priority this November. Check back in November about how you can help students like Thomas by providing necessary financial aid and, more importantly, the type of compassion that makes nurses who they are.

Contact Corey Hukill at or 330-672-8753 about how you can make a difference in our students’ lives. 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 4:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 11:51am
Katie Robertson