URI receives $1 million gift for nursing scholarships from former professor

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

KINGSTON, R.I.,- November 29, 2018 – University of Rhode Island alumna and former nursing professor Deborah Godfrey-Brown M.S. ’79 has pledged $1 million for scholarships in the College of Nursing.

The gift establishes the Deborah Godfrey-Brown Nursing Scholarship, with a focus on undergraduate minority students in good academic standing. The permanent endowed fund will provide financial aid for Rhode Island residents who plan to pursue careers in clinical nursing.

“The College of Nursing is committed to promoting diversity in the nursing ranks,” says College of Nursing Dean Barbara Wolfe. “Deborah’s generous gift will be a powerful catalyst for bringing in talented students who are passionate about nursing.”

One of URI’s most popular and competitive colleges—the entering class has the highest GPA of any college on campus—the College of Nursing provides students with unparalleled qualifications to become leaders in the rapidly changing health care field.

A native of Foster, Rhode Island, Associate Professor Emerita Godfrey-Brown has played a key role, both professionally and philanthropically, in the College’s success at creating new generations of nursing leaders. Prior to her 2008 retirement, she helped develop the capstone course Leadership in Professional Nursing. In 1996, she and her then-fiancé, Steven C. Brown, established the Godfrey-Brown Leadership Award, given annually to a graduating senior from the College of Nursing. The scholarship comes in the form of a planned gift, which designates URI as a beneficiary in the Brown estate.