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January 2009

Release Date: Jan. 27, 2009ASU Logo

Midland Foundation Endows Chair in ASU's Newest College

The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland has pledged $1 million to Angelo State University to establish an endowed chair in the ASU College of Nursing and Allied Health (CNAH).

The endowment will be paid out over three years with the first $300,000 installment received by ASU this month. The James A. “Buddy” Davidson Chair in Nursing Excellence will be the first endowed chair in ASU’s newest college.

“An endowed chair will allow us to continue to attract outstanding faculty to help us achieve our goal of expanding graduate programs that prepare advanced practice nurses to care for Texans, particularly in rural areas,” said Dr. Leslie Mayrand, CNAH dean. “An endowed chair is a hallmark of an outstanding program and we are truly grateful to the Davidson Foundation for its confidence and support of ASU nursing.”

Funds generated by the Davidson Chair will enable ASU to provide a complete Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner degree program on campus. Currently, ASU students complete 21 hours of core coursework toward a MSN, then must transfer to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) for their final 27 hours of classes to complete the family nurse practitioner degree. However, some are turned away due to lack of space in the TTUHSC program.

Increasingly, nurse practitioners are serving as the primary care providers for residents in small towns and rural areas that are unable to attract physicians. But, the high demand for nurse practitioners throughout Texas increases the difficulty of attracting them to rural West Texas Towns.

“By allowing the students to be able to complete their nurse practitioner coursework here locally,” said Dr. Susan Wilkinson, head of the ASU Nursing Department, “we hope to be able to retain more of the graduates in this region. That will help with the shortage of mid-level practitioners in this and surrounding areas of West Texas.”

The Davidson Foundation previously established the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Scholarship Endowment for the ASU Nursing Department in 2006 and provided funds to support research projects by ASU biology students in 2008.