A Way to Show Gratitude
As we grow older, the experiences we have and how people made us feel remain with us. The feelings and experiences South gave Ray and Patsy Kennedy are one of the many reasons they continue to stay connected to the University. Both are alumni, and Patsy is a USA Health Services retiree. They credit a lot of their success to their time spent at South Alabama.
As a way to show their continued gratitude to South, they have placed the University in their estate plans. Their gift will establish the Patsy and Ray Kennedy Endowed Scholarship Fund in the College of Nursing for graduate education.
"Our hope is that in creating this scholarship endowment, those who benefit from it will value their experience and in turn give back to the community," said both Ray and Patsy.
Patsy, a retired nurse practitioner, had the unique opportunity to connect with future nurses while enhancing her own studies.
"I was one of two USA Health System nurse practitioners when I arrived at South in 1982," Patsy added. "I was able to mentor and assist nursing students and have been very much in support of the program and watching it flourish."
Patsy took advantage of the limited scholarship opportunities available to her during her time as a student. Together, she and Ray wanted to support the nursing program and assist in helping to recruit top students to the program.
"It is so important for the College of Nursing to be able to offer scholarships to our graduate students," said Dr. Debra Davis, dean and professor, USA College of Nursing. "These awards help us to recruit highly qualified students because there are very few scholarships for graduate students in nursing. The Ray and Patsy Kennedy Endowed Scholarship Fund creates an enduring legacy which will help ensure the college continues to graduate competent and caring advanced practice nurses for leadership roles in our complex health care system."
In addition to supporting the College of Nursing, the Kennedy's also established the Patsy and Ray Kennedy Endowed Scholarship Fund for Children of Alumni and they support the Jaguar Athletic Fund. Ray has served two terms on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors where he has been instrumental in the planning for the new Alumni Center.
"This was just the right thing to do," said Ray. "It reconnected us to the school we love, and it has really been so much fun. We are both amazed by everything South is becoming and are glad to do our small part to see it flourish."