February 20, 2015

First Endowed Professorship: The Breiner Professorship of Nursing

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that, of course faculty play an integral part in the quality of a BU education – it's obvious. Now, meet one couple that feels so strongly about the impact of talented faculty on our students, they’ve established the Bloomsburg University’s first endowed professorship in support of an exceptional teacher, mentor, and leader.

Ed ’77 and Julie ’77 Breiner looked to the needs of BU when determining the focus of their most recent gift and established the professorship within the Department of Nursing. An endowed professorship provides funding to establish either a new senior faculty position, often supporting a subject matter that is envisioned in BU’s strategic plan; or recognize a current senior faculty member who exhibits exemplary teaching, outstanding scholarship and commitment to mentoring students and/or service to the university.

“We talked with University Officials about the possibilities and about ways our gift could make BU a stronger university,” says Julie. “With the health profession, there is a potential to make a huge impact as far as healing and caring. Nursing really resonated with us.”

Impact is exactly why the Breiners endowed the position. Ed has no difficulty in naming faculty who challenged and motivated him during his BU student experience. “Of course anyone who went to school during our era would agree that Dr. Robert Koslosky is at the top of that list. Dr. Koslosky taught art history – he ignited a life-long interest for a lot of people through his passion and ability to convey it to others. Wow, what a great teacher he was.”

“I was challenged through all of my science courses and because of that, I felt I was very well prepared for my internship,” says Julie. The Breiners want that challenge for all current and future students, and say it’s important now that people step up and support public and state-related universities.

“One of the revelations that I got after becoming engaged with BU again was understanding the decline in support coming from the state,” says Ed. “That is an eye opener. I don’t think most people recognize that. The dynamics have changed since we were in school. And of course we should support our alma mater. Besides, [BU is] still very affordable education. I believe that we’re giving students the opportunity for an education and a life-changing experience, like I had.”

The position will help guide the new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, an effort the Breiners are excited about. “We can help BU position itself for the future with this cutting edge program,” Julie adds.

The faculty professorship will allow the University to expand the number of students in the nursing program and in turn, expand the nursing program.

“The professor that we’re going to support – the candidate – will be a true leader and will make a huge impact on the students not only as a teacher, but as mentor,” says Julie.

“The professorship will make the Doctor of Nursing a more robust program, plus we’re leveraging the great partnership with Geisinger, which is a world-class health organization. That’s an opportunity we don’t want to miss,” says Ed.

“This, like any other endeavor, is competitive,” he adds. “If the school can attract and retain high quality faculty, it can compete.”

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