September 20, 2023

Generous gifts improve Donnelly Center spaces

Generous gifts from the Francis J. Pruss Education Trust, Margaret Murrin Christiano Trust, and Terri and the late Art Christoffersen, have made significant improvements to spaces inside Mount Mercy University’s Donnelly Center, home to the Martin-Herold College of Nursing & Health.

"These thoughtful gifts will help us continue our proud tradition of educating health care leaders," said Dr. Todd A. Olson, Mount Mercy's president. "We are incredibly grateful for their generosity."


Christoffersen and Francis J. Pruss Trust Gifts

The Donnelly Center 300 lecture hall and lobby were renovated earlier this year to create the Francis J. Pruss Auditorium featuring enhanced seating, improved audio and visual technology and integrated assistive technology services.

Across the hall, the Donnelly Center 301 classroom was also renovated with funds from the Pruss Trust, along with significant support from Terri and the late Art Christoffersen. The Seng Classroom has been named in honor of Terri’s parents, Edward and Vivian Seng. Terri Christoffersen has served on Mount Mercy’s Board of Trustees since 1998.

The late Francis Pruss was known for his legal tenacity and love of farming. He gifted parcels of land through the Francis J. Pruss Education Trust to foster the educational mission of Mount Mercy. His philanthropic vision also created the Francis J. Pruss Conference Center, which opened in Mount Mercy’s CRST International Graduate Center in 2013.

Christiano Trust Gift

The student lounge on the first floor of the Donnelly Center was updated recently to provide a more spacious and comfortable gathering and study space. The lounge has been named in honor of the late Margaret Murrin Christiano, who graduated from Mount Mercy Junior College in 1948 and Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1952.

Next door, the Donnelly Center 114 classroom was refurbished to better meet the needs of students and faculty and will be called the Margaret Murrin Christiano Classroom. The telehealth classroom at the CRST International Graduate Center was also updated with support from the Christiano Trust.

Margaret Christiano was an instructor and nurse anesthetist at the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing and later an Associate Professor at the Northern Illinois University School of Nursing.

These gifts support the transformational vision of Ron and Paula Herold who established the Martin-Herold College of Nursing & Health in 2018.