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Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Receives $5 Million Commitment from Dee ’86 and Nick Adams

Marks largest gift in history of the College of Nursing

Donors with Villanova leadership
Pictured (left to right): Michael J. O’Neill (Senior Vice President for University Advancement); the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD (Villanova University President); Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN (Interim Dean of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing); Dee Adams ’86 FCN; Nick Adams; Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD (Provost)

Villanova University has announced a $5 million commitment from alumna Deborah “Dee” Silvers Adams ’86 FCN and her husband, Nick, that provides anchor support for the naming of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. The largest philanthropic commitment in the history of Villanova Nursing, the Adams’ gift honors Dr. M. Louise Fitzpatrick—the College of Nursing’s visionary dean, who passed away in September—and allows her legacy to live on at the College of Nursing and at Villanova. In December, Villanova President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced the naming of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing—made possible through philanthropic support from alumni, parents and friends.  

“I am very grateful to the Adams family for this extraordinary gift that honors the legacy of our beloved, long-time dean, M. Louise Fitzpatrick,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “I am humbled by the many ways that members of the Villanova community, like Dee and Nick, support the University and all that we do. Their generosity and commitment are truly transformative.”

Dr. Fitzpatrick made the College’s endowment a priority throughout her nearly four decades as dean of the College of Nursing. The Adams’ gift—announced by Fr. Donohue at a Villanova event Feb. 8 in Palm Beach, Fla.—will help fortify the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s future and further enhance the academically challenging and personally transformative experiences that inspire and prepare Villanova students to lead at the forefront of modern health care. To date, more than $11 million in gifts and pledges have been made in honor of Dr. Fitzpatrick, bringing the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s campaign total to more than $35 million.

“What I remember most about Louise was her relentless pursuit of expanding the curriculum for her students,” said Dee Adams. “My time at the nursing school was invaluable. From the rigors of the academics to the challenges of patient care, the nursing school taught me what I needed to know to be a true professional and a compassionate healer.”

“We were inspired to make this gift out of our families' dedication to medicine, medical research, and compassionate care of patients,” added Dee and Nick Adams. “Our family, having been in the field of healthcare professionals and having lived through our own loss of loved ones, realized the critical importance of nurses on the frontline. In the future we see nurses' expanded roles as primary care givers. Hence, the all-important role of the nursing school in the future.”

In addition to their record-breaking gift, the Adams family also made a $1 million commitment to the College of Nursing in 2017, which established an endowed scholarship and provides support for cancer-related research projects. The gift was made in honor of Dee Adams’ mother, Dr. Abigail Adams Silvers, who was a renowned oncologist at Main Line Health System’s Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

“We are very moved by the generosity of our alumna Dee Silvers Adams and her husband Nick with this gift in honor of Dean Fitzpatrick and the naming of the College for her,” said Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN, Interim Dean of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. “This gift, as well as their previous commitment last year, allows us to enhance and expand our academic programs, student support, and faculty and student research that were high priorities for Dean Fitzpatrick.”

“Dean Fitzpatrick has been influential in the lives of so many Villanova alumni, parents and friends, and thanks to Dee and Nick Adams, her impact will continue to benefit generations to come,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “We are grateful to all of the Villanovans who have made this naming possible, and especially to the Adams family for leading the effort through their extraordinary investment.”

The Adams’ gift is part of Villanova’s comprehensive capital campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” Villanova launched the public phase of its campaign in October 2013, and to date has raised more than $735 million. Scheduled to close in May 2018, the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change is the most ambitious in the University’s 176-year history and 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. For more information on the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, visit

Dee Adams—a 1986 graduate of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing—is a real estate investor, as well as a sales representative for Isagenix, a multi-level marketing company that markets dietary supplements and personal care products. Nicholas Adams is a senior managing director and Partner Portfolio manager at Wellington Management Company LLP., a private, independent investment management company. The Adams reside in Gladwyne, Pa.