Mary Baldwin Receives Transformational $5M Gift in Support of New Nursing Program

Richmond Philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. William H. Goodwin, Jr. Make Transformational $5 Million Gift to MBU’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences

Date: April 14, 2021

Staunton, Va. – Mary Baldwin University (MBU) today announced that Mr. and Mrs. William H. Goodwin, Jr. have pledged $5 million to support the expansion of the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences at MBU. The transformative gift will provide funding for the recently announced Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) hybrid degree program slated to launch in August.

“Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin are extraordinary advocates for improving the lives of others through advances in healthcare and how it’s delivered,” said Pamela R. Fox, president of Mary Baldwin. “We are honored by their faith in our vision to graduate the next generation of expertly prepared nurses and compassionate healthcare changemakers and we are profoundly grateful for their generous support.”

Half of the Goodwin’s gift will fund the launch of a self-sustaining program of translational research opportunities that connect basic research to clinical practice for Doctor of Nursing Practice students and faculty. This ambitious program will forge partnerships with leading research centers to bridge the gap between cutting-edge scientific research and how it is applied by healthcare providers in day-to-day clinical practice. The remaining $2.5 million will be allocated to start-up costs for the DNP program – the only hybrid DNP of its kind in Virginia – including the hiring of faculty, facility upgrades, and equipment.

“To be truly impactful, medical breakthroughs in labs must be matched with breakthroughs at the bedside. This gift to Mary Baldwin’s DNP program represents an exciting investment in the future of healthcare delivery and helping to close the gap between research discoveries and their practical application to patient care. We hope it will inspire others who share our passion for helping people,” added Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin.

The Goodwin Family has a considerable record of supporting health-related causes, including the Break Through Cancer initiative that promotes collaborative approaches to research aimed at curing the most lethal cancers. Mrs. Alice Tolley Goodwin attended Mary Baldwin College in the Class of 1966. She was inspired by the science faculty she encountered and learned from as a student, which makes the couple’s gift to MBU in support of enhanced patient care and translational research a fitting extension of their philanthropic legacy.

This marks the second major gift the Goodwin Family has made to MBU.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is one of two terminal degrees in nursing, but it is the only one focused on practice-based training and translational research. Most DNP graduates pursue careers as nurse practitioners in clinical settings such as family medical practices or acute care facilities (hospitals, rehabilitation centers, etc.), or as healthcare executives. MBU launches its DNP at a time when career prospects for advanced practice nurses are extraordinarily strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be an average of 24,200 job openings for nurse practitioners each year through 2029 and notes that advanced practice nurses “will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas.” MBU expects the program to be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in June.

To learn more about the DNP at MBU, please visit


Founded in 1842, Mary Baldwin University is a small, coeducational university offering a range of degree programs from bachelor to doctoral. It serves a diverse student population on its main campus in Staunton, Virginia; at its nearby health sciences campus in Augusta County; and online.

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