UTC’s School Of Nursing Announces $500,000 Grant For Mental Health From Unum Group

  • Monday, May 13, 2024
  • Amy Donahue, UTC
Back row, from left: Dr. Jason Peter (ABSN program coordinator and Mary B. Jackson assistant professor), Kim White (vice chancellor of Advancement), Chancellor Stephen R. Angle, Rick McKenney (Unum president and chief executive officer) and Esther Obi (ABSN student). Front row: Rachel Hargis (Unum manager of Corporate Social Responsibility), Dr. Latisha Toney (assistant professor), Dr. Chris Smith (UC Foundation professor and director of the School of Nursing; chief health affairs officer), Liz Ahmed (Unum executive vice president of People and Communications) and Matthew “David” King (BSN student starting in the fall).
Back row, from left: Dr. Jason Peter (ABSN program coordinator and Mary B. Jackson assistant professor), Kim White (vice chancellor of Advancement), Chancellor Stephen R. Angle, Rick McKenney (Unum president and chief executive officer) and Esther Obi (ABSN student). Front row: Rachel Hargis (Unum manager of Corporate Social Responsibility), Dr. Latisha Toney (assistant professor), Dr. Chris Smith (UC Foundation professor and director of the School of Nursing; chief health affairs officer), Liz Ahmed (Unum executive vice president of People and Communications) and Matthew “David” King (BSN student starting in the fall).
photo by Omar Dedovic/UTC Advancement

UTC announced that Unum Group has made a $500,000 grant and become the School of Nursing’s Premier Mental Health Partner at the new Dorothy and Jim Kennedy Health Sciences Building, slated to begin construction later this year.

The partnership will leverage Unum Group’s expertise for their qualified Unum Clinical team to serve as adjunct clinical professors; contribute to community and mental health curriculum and programming; and provide tools, including resiliency training and/or support groups, for nursing students.

“As our community, like the rest of the country, suffers from a severe nursing shortage, we are thankful that Unum is investing in our campus and nursing program so we can meet this critical community need and grow our nursing program enrollment by more than 150 pecent with this new facility,” said UTC Chancellor Steven R. Angle. 

Named the top Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the country by Nurse.org, the UTC School of Nursing program boasts a 100 percent employment rate and a five-year average pass rate of 97 percent on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates.

“At Unum, we see the critical role nurses play in our customers’ journeys every day,” said Liz Ahmed, Unum Group’s executive vice president, People and Communications. “Whether they are supporting patients through cancer treatments or helping new parents welcome their child into the world, nurses are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Our investment in UTC’s nursing program ensures that the next generation of nursing students has the tools and resources they need to succeed now and into the future.”

The UTC School of Nursing accepts approximately 50 percent of applicants, turning down eligible students due to space and class size limitations. Approximately 90,000 square feet, the new Dorothy and Jim Kennedy Health Sciences Building will allow for increased enrollment, access to state-of-the-art classrooms and a cutting-edge simulation lab to educate future nurses.

“The majority of our BSN graduates, 71 percent, remain in the Chattanooga area to work once they complete their degree, and this number jumps to 83 percent for our Family Nurse Practitioner graduates,” said Dr. Chris Smith, director of the UTC School of Nursing. “This gift is a vital investment in our University, students and the quality of care our entire community needs.”

Along with an $8 million naming gift from the Kennedy Foundation, Inc., announced in 2023, the project’s cost will be funded through donations and state resources with a building campaign goal of $21 million. The new building, set to break ground later this year at the corner of Palmetto and East 3rd Streets, has an anticipated completion in late 2026.

To learn more about the project, visit give.utc.edu/KennedyHealthSciencesBuilding.

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