VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University College of Nursing has received a $3 million gift from Dr. Jenkins L. “Mike” Schley, MD, in tribute to his late wife, LTC Doris Clark Schley (ret.) BSN, MSN, a 1957 alumna of the then-new College. The gift is the second-largest ever received by the College of Nursing and will establish an endowed chair and scholarship in Doris Clark Schley’s memory.
“The College of Nursing is grateful to Dr. Schley for choosing to honor the memory of his wife, our alumna Doris Clark Schley, in such a meaningful way,” said M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean of the College of Nursing.
Doris Clark Schley was dedicated to the field of nursing throughout her life. Her nursing career began when she entered the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps as an ensign. Doris cared for patients at naval hospitals in California, Japan, and Guam. Following her tours in the Pacific, the Navy assigned her stateside to San Diego, where she met Dr. Schley. The two married in 1966 and after spending three years together, Dr. Schley was sent to Vietnam while Doris was deployed to Midway Island where she was assigned as President Richard Nixon’s nurse during his visit with South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen Van Thieu.
After the birth of the Schleys' children, Doris left the Navy. According to Dr. Schley, however, her profession continued to call to her and she joined the U.S. Army Reserve, earned a master’s degree in nursing from United States International University and later retired as a lieutenant colonel. She also worked as a nurse in the civilian sector.
According to Dr. Schley, she declined high-level administrative jobs to remain close to the bedside as a medical-surgical nurse. “She worshipped getting patients well and was meticulously careful with them,” said Dr. Schley. “There is no question that nursing brought her joy. That was her world.”
Doris passed away last year at the age of 85 after a long illness. Regarding his generous gift to the College of Nursing, Dr. Schley said, “To me she was just a special person and special nurse and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her.”
“Dr. Schley’s gift is a touching tribute that will have a lasting impact on nursing education at Villanova.” said Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “Faculty support is an important priority in our campaign, and this gift will increase the College’s ability to recruit and retain top-tier teacher-scholars,”
Villanova launched the public phase of its Comprehensive Capital Campaign—For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change—in October 2013. To date, more than $565 million has been raised toward its $600 million goal. The most ambitious in the University’s 174-year history, Villanova’s Campaign is aimed at cultivating academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars, dramatically enhancing financial aid and student opportunities, and continuing to build a premier living-learning environment on the University’s 260-acre campus.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.