Montana State University (MSU) announced on Monday that benefactors have donated $101 million to its College of Nursing to address the state’s rural healthcare challenges.
The philanthropic gift — the largest sum ever given to a nursing program in the US — was provided by the founders of Goosehead Insurance, Mark and Robyn Jones. The Joneses were moved to make the donation upon learning of the shortage of trained healthcare providers in the area, which cost the life of a friend with cancer.
“It is hard to put into words how moved and excited all of us are at Montana State University by the generosity of the Joneses, who are helping to address some of the most critical healthcare disparity issues in Montana, particularly in the state’s rural areas,” MSU President Waded Cruzado said.
Improving Montana Healthcare
School officials stated that the funds would go toward new classrooms and simulation labs at the College of Nursing’s five campuses in Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula.
MSU will also endow five faculty positions to teach and train nursing students for the local workforce. Scholarships will also be created to make nursing education more affordable and attractive to a broader range of students.
“Straight from the hearts of Mark and Robyn, this gift will forever change healthcare in Montana, and it will serve as a model for the nation. Thanks to their vision, we will have access to tangible tools, such as high-quality simulation labs, new facilities across our nursing campuses, and more registered nurses, and doctor of nursing practice prepared nurse practitioners and nurse midwives,” Cruzado added.
“We both grew up visiting Montana with our families, and now it is one of the places we call home. We’ve seen first-hand the healthcare challenges that Montana faces, and we wanted to do something that will make an impact on the people of this beautiful state,” said Robyn Jones.
“Whether in our community or our business, we’ve always believed that people come first,” Mark Jones concluded. “Montana holds a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to working with the MSU College of Nursing to help transform the healthcare community here and nationwide.”