MU alumni couple gives $1M to help renovate, build addition for new home for College of Nursing

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Marquette University announced it has received a $1 million gift from an alumni couple, Micky and Jennifer Minhas, that will launch an effort to renovate and build an addition for the new home for the College of Nursing in the heart of campus.

To accommodate an ambitious growth plan, the College of Nursing will move to a renovated and expanded David A. Straz, Jr. Hall in 2024.

According to a news release, Micky Minhas, who graduated in 1989 from the Opus College of Engineering, is currently serving as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Jennifer (Burdick) Minhas also graduated in 1989 from the College of Nursing and serves on the Time to Rise nursing campaign committee.

“Marquette Nurses deliver care with integrity, passion and excellence in caring for the whole person,” Jennifer and Micky Minhas said. “We firmly believe that the College of Nursing’s strategic plan to expand enrollment, diversity and research opportunities will be foundational to the commitment to care for our communities. We are proud to support the college’s vision with this gift.”

Marquette’s College of Business Administration will move out of Straz Hall into the new home for Marquette Business and innovation leadership programs in December 2022. Significant renovations and a newly constructed addition to Straz Hall will then immediately follow, paving the way for the College of Nursing to move into its five-floor facility in 2024. The building, which will span more than 100,000 square feet when finished, is positioned across from one of Marquette’s most iconic faith spaces — the St. Joan of Arc Chapel — and beside the Church of The Gesu.

“It is vitally important that we increase the number of our Marquette Nurses graduating in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, and this generous gift from Jennifer and Micky significantly furthers our efforts,” said acting Dean Jill Guttormson, Ph.D., MS, RN. “Marquette Nurse graduates are poised to make an immediate impact as leaders and advocates to improve health for the communities, families, and individuals they serve.”

Inside the new home for the College of Nursing

The first floor of the renovated facility will feature an open atrium, an auditorium and several flexible classrooms, along with a new Center for Nursing Student Success — providing wrap-around student support services that assist a new generation of nurses through first-year seminars, tutoring programs and learning communities. Skills labs are spread throughout the second floor, and a large student breakroom enclosed in glass will overlook the campus.

Expanded simulation labs will surround the third floor with accompanying debrief rooms to model reflection, clinical judgment, critical thinking skills and reasoning, Guttormson said.

The innovative spaces will offer enhanced opportunities to simulate real-time health scenarios taking place in the operating room, a specialty clinic or within home health care. The top floors will be home to a research collaboration lab, the dean’s suite, additional classrooms and faculty offices.

“Every decision we made in shaping this facility was based on supporting student learning in a rapidly changing environment,” said Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Lora Strigens. “Our nursing students and faculty live out our Jesuit model of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, and our goal was to envision and create a facility that does the same for them.”

As the university’s Campus Master Plan continues to evolve, Clark Hall, the current home for the College of Nursing, will be evaluated for future use.

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