$1.5 million gift leads to College of Nursing scholarship

Photo Caption: Ada Oetgen, a graduate of and former teacher at Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, died in February at the age of 89.

Not only was Ada Oetgen a graduate of the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, but she taught there for many years. Now a gift from her estate will make certain that students will be able to follow in her footsteps for years to come.

Miss Oetgen, who died in February at the age of 89, left her alma mater $1.5 million, the largest monetary gift the school has received to date. The planned gift will be used to establish the endowed Ada Oetgen Memorial Scholarship Fund.

“We are always so thankful for people like Miss Oetgen who have a special place in their heart and look out for those who are the best of the best but might need help fulfilling their passion of caring for others,” said Keith Steffen, president and CEO of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. “Her gift is consistent with our Sisters’ mission of serving with the greatest care and love.”

“Ada Oetgen was dedicated and passionate about teaching, and students learned so much from her,” said Patti Stockert, president of the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She served on the faculty with Miss Oetgen for 15 years.

“The gift comes at an opportune time as the college sees the need for institutional scholarships for students continuing to grow,” Stockert said. “Last year 89 percent of our (bachelor’s degree in nursing) students received some type of financial assistance. The scholarships given in her name will help many students pursue their dream of a nursing career.”

Miss Oetgen graduated from Saint Francis School of Nursing in 1945. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in 1952 and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Chicago in 1959.

She taught anatomy and physiology, microbiology and trends and issues at the School of Nursing. As the school transitioned into the College of Nursing in the 1980s, Miss Oetgen is credited with being an integral part of the planning. She continued to teach until 1994.

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