SLU Nursing School Renamed

They say that the best presents in life come in small packages. However, the generous $4 million gift to the nursing school from Trudy Busch Valentine, an alumna of SLU’s nursing department, proves that it isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but rather its ability to keep on giving.

In recognition of this gift, and her continuing support of the school, SLU renamed its nursing school the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing earlier this semester.

This gift is one of many donations that support a current fundraising initiative on campus titled Accelerating Excellence: The Campaign for Saint Louis University. Its goal is to fundraise $500 million in order to steer our research and academic efforts into prominent fields like the health sciences in order to be at the forefront of innovation and excellence. The campaign has already seen major support, with their fundraising efforts totalling $98.7 million last year.

This achievement reflects the character of many alumni and other advocates of the university, such as Trudy Busch Valentine. It also shows their deep commitment to SLU and its mission.

Jane Baum, Senior Director of Development Health Sciences at Saint Louis University, comments on the importance of alumnae engagement that, “Support from our alumni, friends and community is important for not only the nursing program, but the University and the community. The school will graduate our students, and they will in turn go forth into our community and abroad to share their knowledge. By supporting through the campaign, our University will attract the best and brightest of faculty, staff and students.” 

Valentine’s role as an alumna extends further than a simple monetary donation. She herself graduated from the Saint Louis University School of Nursing in 1980. Two of her children followed in her footsteps to receive their degrees from SLU. Christina Valentine Cammon, her daughter, also graduated from SLU’s nursing program, while her son, Stephen, is pursuing a law degree at SLU. 

Even as a teenager, Valentine’s passion for people and nursing was evident, especially when she  started volunteering for the pediatric unit of the former St. Anthony’s Hospital on Chippewa.  Her philanthropic involvement continued further within numerous organizations including Boys Hope Girls Hope, Edgewood Children’s Center, Caring Solutions, Almost Home, and Churchill Center & School, in addition to dedicating herself as a volunteer nurse for several other groups.  


Baum adds, “She genuinely cares about the mission at Saint Louis University and Cura Personalis. We are fortunate and honored that she shares not only her treasure, but, most importantly, much of her time and talents as well,” she said.

Baum adds that “the gift will be to support faculty and staff in the form of support for their scholarly work, research, leadership with faculty, colleagues, students and School of Nursing constituents. Additionally, the service activities that support the social justice and mission of the Saint Louis University School of Nursing.”

There have been several new developments in the nursing department in the few weeks since the renaming. One faculty member, Verna Hendricks-Ferguson, Ph.D., the Irene Riddle Endowed Professor of Nursing at SLU, will help spearhead a National Institute of Health study to explore how to better the communication between medical staff and families of terminally-ill children. Further, Denise Côté-Arsenault, Ph.D., the Hemak Endowed Professor of Maternal Child Nursing in SLU’s nursing department, was just named a Fulbright scholar in support of her ethnographic study detailing the effect of Scottish culture on neonatal care in this region.

Baum is excited about the trickle-down effect of a gift like this and its ability to affect so many. “This gift will impact not only the faculty and staff through scholarly support and resources, it will touch all of our students who will then touch so many lives in their daily work,” she said.