Estate of KU alumna donates $4.2 million to School of Nursing

photo by: Sara Shepherd/Journal-World File Photo

This file photo from June 11, 2017, shows the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan., from 39th Street facing east.

The estate of a University of Kansas alumna who spent her life as a nurse and health care volunteer has donated $4.2 million to help fund the education of KU nursing students.

Margaret Ann Zimmerman, who received a nursing certificate from KU in 1947, left the money to KU’s School of Nursing, KU Endowment announced on Thursday. The donation will be used to create a scholarship in Zimmerman’s name and will provide financial assistance to full-time doctoral and postdoctoral students in the program.

Sally Maliski, dean of the nursing school, said the scholarships would help the school attract top talent for its doctoral programs.

“These programs prepare future nursing faculty and nurse researchers to serve the state and the nation,” Maliski said. “We are grateful to Margaret Zimmerman for her foresight and her support of the nursing profession.”

The donation also will help in recruiting students in the undergraduate nursing honors program and the school’s Nursing Pathways program, which focuses on diversity.

Zimmerman was born up in the small town of Whitewater, which is about 20 miles north of Wichita in Butler County, in 1923. After receiving her nursing certificate from KU, she obtained a public health nursing degree from the University of Minnesota.

She then went on to a career in nursing and eventually retired as the child health nursing supervisor at the Montgomery County Health Department in Maryland. Throughout her career, she volunteered for the American Cancer Society, helping transport patients to and from treatment appointments.

Zimmerman died in Silver Spring, Md., in 2017 at the age of 94.

Her family also had connections to KU. Zimmerman’s father, Levi, who owned a flour mill in Whitewater, graduated from KU, and her sister Ina Belle Zimmerman, who was a dietician, completed her internship at KU Medical Center.


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