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Wisdom Family Foundation establishes 10 endowed chairs for Northwestern nursing department

(ALVA, Okla. Sept. 27, 2016) – The nursing department at Northwestern Oklahoma State University recently was gifted 10 endowed chairs by the Wisdom Family Foundation in order to support its newly established Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program announced earlier this year.Wisdom Family Foundation

The Wisdom Family Endowed Chairs for Nursing, in honor of the late C.W. and Grace Wisdom of Alva, will provide funds for teaching positions in the area of nursing. A gift total of $2.5 million will ensure strong leadership for Northwestern’s DNP program.

“The establishment of 10 endowed chairs through the support from the Wisdom Family Foundation is the result of one of the most impactful gifts in the history of Northwestern,” Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president, said. “The creation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is a potential game changer for Northwestern. Not only does it raise the academic standing of the University, but it will impact the quality of health care in Oklahoma for generations to come.”

C.W. and Grace Wisdom were married in 1946 in Kansas City, Mo. and had three daughters, Peggy J., Dianna Sue and Cindy. The couple and their family moved from Okeene, Okla. to Alva in the 1950s. The couple’s commitment to education at Northwestern led to the establishment of the Wisdom Family Foundation to support education in the arts, agriculture and health/medicine.

“The Wisdom Family Foundation, through the leadership of Dr. Peggy Wisdom, has been visionary in its support of Northwestern, acting as a key partner in the creation of the DNP program, and earlier, the agriculture education program,” said Cunningham. “The members of the Foundation deserve and have our sincere gratitude for their support of our students.”

Dr. Peggy Wisdom, daughter of C.W and Grace and Professor/Vice Chair of Neurology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, says it often can be difficult for rural areas to recruit physicians to their communities due in large part to a common observation that once a resident is ready for practice, they often practice in the area where they were trained.

“The Board of Directors of the Wisdom Family Foundation recognized Northwestern had a valuable resource for northwest Oklahoma in the nationally recognized School of Nursing,” said Dr. Wisdom. “As many of the nurses who graduate from its nursing program establish families and remain active in nursing in their community, an expanded program which would train nurse practitioners would likely increase the number of licensed independent practitioners in northwest Oklahoma.”

As Interim Medical Director for OU Physicians Neurology Clinic, Dr. Wisdom says she has no doubt Northwestern’s DNP program will benefit the community.

“Through a collaboration between the Wisdom Family Foundation, the Share Trust and the leadership of Northwestern, the development of a DNP program was conceived. This program, using the established resources of the Northwestern nursing program and expanding nursing faculty and rural community preceptors, will begin to provide additional educational opportunities to all nurses of northwest Oklahoma,” said Dr. Wisdom. “Nurses who were interested in expanding their skills in diagnosis and management of rural community patients will now have an opportunity to remain active in nursing and care for their families while pursuing their DNP.”

For more information on the Wisdom Family Endowed Chairs for Nursing or about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599 or email him at




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