$10.8m donation to Sydney Nursing School sees University of Sydney pass $500m fundraising milestone

29 May 2015

An unprecedented $10.8 million donation to Sydney Nursing School by the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation sees the University of Sydney today surpass $500 million in philanthropic funds raised since 2008.

The gift, which is the largest ever donation to a nursing school in Australia, establishes the granting of 12 annual scholarships to assist nursing students with study, tuition and accommodation. Beginning in 2016, The Susan Wakil Scholarships will assist both undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses, with some scholarships earmarked for rural, regional and indigenous students. The donation ensures that Sydney Nursing School will be able to offer Susan Wakil Scholarships to student nurses in perpetuity.

"Susan and I appreciate the valuable work of nurses in the frontline of health care," Mr Wakil said. "Regrettably, nurses don't always get the recognition or headlines they deserve for the critical and very personal care they bring to patients. These new scholarships are a way of supporting the tuition and career development of deserving students and nurses now and into the future. Australia is a great country and it's a good feeling to give something back."

Responding to the gift, the Dean of Sydney Nursing School, Professor Donna Waters said: "This is an extraordinary act of generosity by Susan and Isaac Wakil. I think it's terrific that they have seen and acknowledged the importance of nursing in the health care system. Nurses coordinate and provide care to others, every day and everywhere. They really are the linchpin of the entire system. To have this suite of scholarships available to a broad range of bright Australians committing to a career in nursing is magnificent."

University passes $500m fundraising milestone

The donation to Sydney Nursing School sees the university today surpass $500 million in funds raised through INSPIRED - the campaign to support the University of Sydney. INSPIRED supports excellence in research and teaching, provides world class facilities, and attracts and financially supports the best and brightest students. The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation donation also comes as the University celebrates its 40,000th donor to INSPIRED.

"Much of the proud history of the University was made possible by the far-sighted generosity of our donors," said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence. "It gives me great pleasure to thank our community of 40,000 donors who, like us, are inspired to find cures and answers, increase access, pursue excellence and endow the future."

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