Donor Profile: Geraldene Felton
Through nearly two distinguished decades at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, Dean Emeritus Geraldene Felton led, taught, and cared for countless faculty, students, and patients. But her history of service—to her profession and her country—dates back even farther.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1926 and raised in Philadelphia by her mother, Felton joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1949. She served as a staff nurse until 1956 and went on to hold a variety of additional teaching and clinical positions, including nursing supervisor, nurse anesthetist, and deputy director of the Department of Nursing at Walter Reed Institute of Research. Following her retirement from the Army Nurse Corps in 1975, Felton became professor and dean of nursing at Oakland University School of Nursing in Rochester, Michigan. It was at Oakland University that Felton met David Evans, who she later married. David Evans died in 2001.
Felton came to the University of Iowa in 1981 to serve as professor and dean of the UI College of Nursing. She retired in 1997, though she continued to serve as a consultant on nursing education and nursing research at various colleges and universities. Among her many accomplishments as dean of the UI College of Nursing was building a research-based program at the college, which included hiring Ph.D. faculty, building research programs, and starting the UI College of Nursing Ph.D. program.
In 2013, Felton made a bequest to the UI College of Nursing to establish the Geraldene Felton Graduate Student Scholarship Fund, which is intended to provide financial support for graduate students in nursing.
“It is an honor to designate funds for advanced nursing education at the University of Iowa College of Nursing,” said Felton. “Support for students to pursue advanced degrees is vital to the future of the college and its ability to continue recruiting the best and brightest students to Iowa.”
Felton’s establishment of the fund continues a legacy of philanthropy to the UI College of Nursing. Because of her longtime support for the college through annual gifts to the Nursing Progress Fund, Felton also is a member of the Presidents Club, which recognizes the University of Iowa’s most generous contributors. The Nursing Progress Fund provides unrestricted support for the college to take advantage of special opportunities as they arise, or lend a hand where nursing students, faculty, and staff need it most—something Felton has done through her lifetime of service and philanthropy.
Thanks to her gift to establish the Geraldene Felton Graduate Student Scholarship Fund, her generosity will endure and influence countless generations of future nursing students.
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