September 25, 2023

Two nursing gifts announced at Mount Mercy University’s BSN@50 event

The Martin-Herold College of Nursing & Health celebrated the 50-year anniversary of Mount Mercy University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree on Thursday night with its BSN@50 event. Two generous gifts were announced that will help the university continue its proud tradition of educating nurses.

Abby (Hitchcock) Heydman, a ’64 graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, announced a gift to create the F.E. (Fritz) Hitchcock Endowed Nursing Lecture Series. The funds will support the planning and implementation of an annual lecture series at Mount Mercy on topics related to nursing and health with the intent to benefit both students and the broader community.

President Todd A. Olson, PhD, also announced a generous estate gift to create the Jack Runnels & Marjorie Hansen Fraenkel Endowed Chair in Nursing. Dr. Julie Shaw, Director of Graduate Nursing Programs for the Martin-Herold College of Nursing & Health, was selected for the inaugural honor.

F.E. (Fritz) Hitchcock Endowed Nursing Lecture Series

Frank and Abby Heydman established the F.E. (Fritz) Hitchcock Endowed Nursing Lecture Series in memory of Abby Heydman’s brother, Fritz Hitchcock.

Hitchcock was an enthusiastic supporter of higher education. Through the Hitchcock Educational Trust, he provided financial support for at least 97 young men and women in their pursuit of degrees in the fields of nursing, medicine, political science, business and engineering.

At Mount Mercy, he was a significant donor to the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1964 Endowed Scholarship Fund, where he made annual gifts in honor of his sister, Abby Heydman.

“The lecture series will be an opportunity for the nursing program to help disseminate new research in nursing, ideas for nursing leaders and introduce students to role models who they can aspire to follow in years to come,” said Abby Heydman.

The first F.E. (Fritz) Hitchcock Endowed Nursing Lecture is being planned for Fall 2023.

Jack Runnels & Marjorie Hansen Fraenkel Endowed Chair in Nursing

Jack and Marjorie Fraenkel have established the Jack Runnels and Marjorie Hansen Fraenkel Endowed Chair in Nursing at Mount Mercy through a generous estate gift.

“Julie is a dynamic and thoughtful leader who is moving us forward in innovative ways,” said Olson. “Julie’s leadership is a key reason our MSN and DNP programs are areas of growth and dynamism at Mount Mercy.”

The endowment income will supplement Shaw’s salary and support her teaching, research, service, and other activities of the graduate nursing programs.

“This endowment will significantly contribute to our mission and vision,” said Shaw. “Our primary goal is always to develop the very best nurses who are incredibly well prepared and adaptable, excel in their careers, and contribute to the improvement of patient care and their communities.”

Marjorie Fraenkel graduated from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1952. Her nursing career included time at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, the University of Iowa, the University of California San Francisco, and 25 years with Shriner’s Hospital in San Francisco, working predominantly in pediatric orthopedics.

Marjorie Fraenkel’s family has close ties with Mount Mercy and four of her six sisters (Marie Trachta ’63, Karen Town ’64, Susan Maybanks ’64 and Rosemary Soukup JC ’56) and several nieces and nephews also graduated from Mount Mercy.

Her husband Jack, emeritus professor at San Francisco State University, taught philosophy, math, and statistics. He authored numerous articles, several civics and government textbooks and a best-selling research textbook.

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