By Catherine O’Grady and Bella Ramon
This past summer, Bill and Joanna Conway donated $20 million to Catholic’s Gowan School of Nursing. This donation is the largest donation from a single benefactor and is only half of the $40 million the Conways have donated over the years.
Bill Conway is the co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a D.C. based investment firm, and is estimated to be worth $2.7 billion, as well as a member of the board of trustees at Catholic.
The money will be used to finance the newly named Conway School of Nursing that will include the continuation of the Conway Scholars program, a scholarship for nursing students that was established in 2014, as well as the construction of a new nursing and sciences building on campus. The new building is planned to be built next to Father O’Connell Hall.
“We are so thrilled to have received such an incredibly generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Conway!” said Caitie Melloy, a sophomore nursing student. “They have already given so much to this school, and I truly am in awe of their constant support and generosity. We are so grateful for them.”
The Conways have been very supportive of nursing programs in the Washington D.C. area, as they are aware of the shortage of nurses all across the country. The Conways hope is to support 10,000 nurses in the D.C. area in their careers. They have also donated to other nursing programs in the area. This donation alone is estimated to double the size of the nursing school at Catholic.
“I saw that if a person could get a nursing degree, they could take care of themselves, their family and ultimately the rest of us,” Conway said.
Those currently studying at the Gowan School of Nursing are grateful to the Conways for their generosity, and the Conways have more plans to donate to the nursing program at Catholic in the future.
“Mr. Conway has already been so generous to this school but this donation goes above and beyond,” said Sara Castangno, another sophomore nursing student. “He is going to make such an impact with the future nurses that come from CUA just from the resources he has given us to better our skills.”
Overall, this large donation is very much appreciated not just by nursing majors, but the school as a whole. The Conways generosity and the improvement of the Nursing school is one of the many ways in which Catholic University is improving and ultimately growing.