Anonymous Contribution to Help Nursing Students at D’Youville
Gift Honors Work of Sister Donna Del Santo, a D’Youville Graduate
Buffalo, New York – April 13, 2017 – A contribution to D’Youville College, made in the name of Sister Donna Del Santo, a member of the order of Sisters of Saint Joseph in Rochester and a member of D’Youville’s nursing class of 1975, was a complete surprise to Sister Donna.
The contribution, from a husband and wife who wish to remain anonymous, will provide $20,000 annually, “for the foreseeable future,” in support of nursing students in their junior or senior year who demonstrate a commitment to community service and who wish to pursue a career in community health.
The wife was a nursing classmate of Sister Donna at D’Youville and a lifelong friend. “She called me and told me what she and her husband were going to do and I was both honored and surprised. They both have always been very supportive of the work I do helping others in need.”
Sister Donna who joined the Order at age 38 has spent her life in public health and served as a volunteer all over the world. “I’ve always been attracted to public health as a way to help the less fortunate,” she said.
She started a clinic in Rochester for underserved people and utilizes a number of volunteer providers to help. Sister Donna works with high school and college students in her volunteer efforts. “I like working with young people.”
Currently she works with prisoners at a local jail in Rochester.
The scholarship will be named the Del Santo Family Community Health Scholarship and will also recognize Sister Donna’s late sister, Diane Del Santo, a member of D’Youville’s Class of 1982, and who was a teacher at Lafayette High School until her death in 2016.
“It’s a great honor to have my family name, including Diane, associated with this generous scholarship to support students who want to enter community health and help others,” Sister Donna said. “I am so grateful.”
The funds will be for junior and senior nursing students and will allow them to focus on succeeding in their programs by helping with their expenses, according to Dr. Judith H. Lewis, dean of D’Youville’s nursing program. “This generous contribution fits right in with the mission of our college and will help students who have made a commitment to serving the underserved through healthcare.”
“It is also an honor for our nursing program to be thought of as worthy of this significant contribution.”
Four students per year will be selected as recipients of the scholarship starting this fall.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester is a community of more than 200 Roman Catholic religious women. The worldwide order was founded in 1650.