Local businessman Mike Ross, a long-time supporter of West Virginia Wesleyan College, said he sees a growing need for nurses across the state as its population ages.
Ross presented a $20,000 check to the college on Monday to ensure that mission continues. College officials showed their appreciation with the naming of the Sen. Mike Ross Conference Room inside the Howard D. Naylor and Audrey Holden Naylor Nursing Simulation Lab.
"Wesleyan offers a good program to educate our young people," Ross said. "There is a growing demand for health care workers, and this is an opportunity for our graduates to get a job and stay in West Virginia. I want to help these kids get their education and become very productive citizens."
The donation will be applied to a $200,000 challenge Wesleyan received last fall from the Naylor Family Trust. The college has secured about $55,000 in gifts toward the required $100,000 match. If Wesleyan can secure the remaining $45,000 by May 1, the Naylor Family Trust will contribute an additional $200,000.
Last year, Ross donated $50,000 to the David E. Reemsnyder Research Center, which allowed the college to secure a $400,000 challenge grant from the Reeves Foundation. In addition to the donations, Ross established a scholarship in 2001 to help West Virginia high school students who, without financial assistance, could not attend West Virginia Wesleyan College.
"Mike has been a tremendous supporter of the college for many years," Wesleyan president Dr. Pamela Balch said. "He has a deep interest in our nursing program, and it is appropriate that we now have a room in our state-of-the-art simulation lab named in his honor."
Wesleyan offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree, as well as a master's of science in nursing administration and nursing education.
The college also offers a master's degree and a certificate of endorsement in nurse mid-wifery and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner through a collaboration with Shenandoah University in Virginia. All of Wesleyan's nursing programs are accredited by the Board of Commissioners of the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
All 25 of the college's nursing school graduates passed the 2012 National Council Licensure Examination.
Beginning in May 2013, the School of Business will offer an MBA concentration in Health Care Administration. This program will enable MBA students to apply advanced business concepts to the health care industry. In addition, the MSN/MBA degree in cooperation with the Master's in Nursing program will be offered in the fall for nursing professionals interested in pursuing a graduate degree with a concentration in nursing administration who also want the business credential.