Each donor – whether or not they have had a previous relationship with the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing –  has their own “why.” 

Learn more about their generous spirit and how they help advance Villanova Nursing care, science and leadership around the globe through some of our spotlight stories.


Kathleen Higgins Glass '63
Kathleen Higgins Glass '63 BSN

Scholarship Honors Career in Mental Health

Plans are underway at the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing to launch a much-needed graduate program in psychiatric mental health. Thanks to Beth Toolen of Midland Park, N.J., the program will start with at least one student scholarship in hand. Beth, a Villanova graduate and parent, has established an endowed scholarship in memory of her late mother: The Kathleen Higgins Glass BSN ’63 Scholarship Fund for Nurse Practitioner Students in Psychiatric Mental Health.

“My mother spent her entire nursing career in psychiatry, 30 years in patient care and 17 years as an administrator,” says Beth. “This scholarship is the best way to remember her at the school she loved. She always loved telling people that she was not just a nurse but a Villanova nurse. Helping other nurses would make her heart swell.”

Beth graduated from the Villanova School of Business in 1987 and has stayed involved as a volunteer for the admission office. Her oldest daughter, Julia, is a 2018 graduate of the College of Engineering. Another daughter, Devin, will graduate this May from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“I remember my mother telling us that the money you make is a gift, and to make sure you share some of it with others,” says Beth. 

Additional gifts in memory of Kathleen Higgins Glass can be made online and directed to this scholarship fund.

John DeLuca
Villanova alumnus John DeLuca honors the memory of his late wife Irene (in photo) with a scholarship in her name to support the education of second degree BSN students.

Elevating Care for Future Patients

John DeLuca lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and began a scholarship program in 2015 to help build the pool of compassionate and skilled certified nursing assistants in the area. Now he’s chosen to support his alma mater in a similar and very significant way.

DeLuca, a 1952 graduate of Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, has created an endowed scholarship to support nursing students in the BSN Express Program, a 14-month accelerated degree program for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing. The Miss Irene Endowed Scholarship Fund for BSN Express Students is named in memory of DeLuca’s late wife Irene, who died less than two years ago after spending “eight years, two months and 22 days” in an assisted living community with staff who, per John, lacked adequate training and supervision in caring for those who cannot care for themselves. John visited Irene every day, seven days a week, and for extended periods during that time.

“I want to help educate more nurses with commitment and heart who are going to stress training and supervision wherever they are and whatever they are doing, whatever responsibilities they have, whatever titles they have,” says John, who grew up in Camden, New Jersey, and enrolled at Villanova to “learn and strengthen his faith and Catholic religion.” The DeLuca’s settled in Maryland and created and ran Delco Packaging Products for years before selling the company to their son. 

John DeLuca began his support of certified nursing assistants at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland. With the help of retired and current staff, advocates, nurses, community administrators and politicians, he created a scholarship program called TREES, which stands for Training, Recruitment, Education, Employment and Support. The program offers full scholarships to caring, compassionate, capable and committed students. “The program’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of those we touch,” says DeLuca. “Through TREES, to date we have 35 graduates, all striving to provide good healthcare for those who cannot care for themselves. Perhaps those who read this can seize the opportunity to create a TREES program in their community. For those who do, they will find it rewarding, meaningful and absolutely powerful.” 

The endowed scholarship created at Villanova will significantly increase what has been a relatively small pool of financial support. “The students in the BSN Express Program need much more scholarship support than we can offer,” says program director Colleen Meakim. “This makes Mr. DeLuca’s gift so important and meaningful for our students. We can’t thank him enough for the support he’s providing our students.”



There are many ways to support the mission of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and the next generation of Villanova Nursing leaders. Learn how you can make a difference

Director, Major Giving 
Robert R. Hill