Siblings Establish Mary Feran Jennings Service-Learning Scholarship in Mother’s Memory

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Vol. II, Issue 4 – 12/6/18
Photo of Tom Jennings

Tom Jennings ’85, is a Peabody and Emmy award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, but what inspires him are the lessons he learned from his mom, Mary Feran, an anesthesia nurse at the Cleveland Clinic. Although Mary passed away when Tom was very young, he still remembers her dedication to her job and her patients. 

Mary Feran poses in her nurses uniform
Mary Feran

Mary recognized a need for patients that was not being fulfilled. Determined to give them the best care possible, she advocated for and eventually established the first step-down recovery unit at Cleveland Clinic, which she managed until her passing. Mary was a nurse who exemplified empathy, caring, and compassion for her patients. She continually put others before herself and Jennings never forgot the impact that allowed her to make on the world.

Wanting to inspire others, Jennings and his wife Ellen, along with his sister, Margaret Faymon, and his brother, John Jennings, recently established the Mary Feran Jennings Service-Learning Scholarship for Kent State University College of Nursing. The scholarship will support students pursuing study away and abroad opportunities in underdeveloped communities. These trips will focus on experiences in community service, volunteering, and administering health related services with an emphasis on teaching cultural understanding and humility. In 2019, the opportunities will include volunteering with a Syrian refugee camp in Greece, working with an organization promoting women’s health in Ghana and providing services within Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Jennings and his siblings want to help develop nursing students who embody the same characteristics they saw in their mother; those who treat patients as more than patients and care for them with empathy, humility, and compassion. Learn more about the college’s study abroad opportunities here and join the Jennings family in supporting our students.

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POSTED: Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 10:45am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 11:50am
Katie Robertson