University of Rhode Island Receives $1 Million Gift for Nursing Scholarships

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KINGSTON, R.I., — April 16, 2018 — The University of Rhode Island has received a $1 million gift to provide scholarships for students in the College of Nursing. The gift comes from the estate of Eleanor Ferrante Barlow and her late husband, Edward, of Rumford and Westerly, R.I.

The Barlows’ bequest will establish the Eleanor F. Barlow Nursing Scholarship Endowment. The scholarships will support students from Rhode Island public high schools who enroll in URI’s nursing program.

With 800 undergraduates enrolled, the College of Nursing provides a distinct learning experience that includes varied clinical settings, research opportunities, study abroad, and other offerings meant to customize nursing education to meet student interests and community needs.

“The future of nursing and its critical role in the delivery of health care depends heavily on our ability to provide opportunities to explore innovation and discovery, through research and experiential learning,” says College of Nursing Dean Barbara Wolfe. “This generous gift from Eleanor and Edward Barlow will make these opportunities available to a greater number of Rhode Island students interested in pursuing Mrs. Barlow’s own profession. I am deeply grateful and excited about the future of the program.”

According to Wolfe, the most recent class of incoming students had the highest GPA in the College’s history, at 3.93. URI nursing graduates have a greater than 90 percent nursing board pass rate, compared to an 87 percent national average. The College is also part of the University’s Academic Health Collaborative, which includes the colleges of pharmacy and health sciences and allows for enhanced multi-disciplinary opportunities.

“Our ability to offer exceptional students scholarship support strengthens our competitiveness and enhances the impact URI nursing students have on health care in our community and around the globe,” says University Provost Donald H. DeHayes.

A 1947 graduate of the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Barlow dedicated her life to the profession, starting as a registered nurse and later serving as nursing supervisor of the operating rooms at Memorial. Barlow was also a founding member of the hospital corporation and an active member of the hospital’s nursing alumni association. Eleanor Barlow died in 2016, five years after the death of her husband, a Brown University graduate and former president of the Seekonk Lace Co.