Skip to main content

Loyola receives $250,000 to establish endowed lecture for nursing

Blue sky is a backdrop for Alumni Memorial Chapel and the stone side of the Sellinger School building

Loyola University Maryland received $250,000 from Geraldine Johnson Geckle, ’74, to establish the Geckle Endowed Lecture for Nursing. The annual lecture will support Loyola’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. 

“The lecture will bring innovative and inspirational leaders to Loyola every year, giving students the opportunity to learn from those who’ve shaped the field of nursing,” said Brian M. Oakes, ’99, MBA ’10, vice president for advancement. “Gerry’s forward-thinking gift follows Loyola’s mission of inspiring students to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world.”

The Geckle Endowed Lecture for Nursing will bring faculty members, students, and the community together to discuss topics such as advancements and challenges in patient care, ethics and social change, diversity in human experience, health equity, and nurse well-being and leadership development.

“Most of my professional career has been in health care,” said Geckle, who is a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. “The pandemic placed a spotlight on the shortage of nursing professionals nationally. Loyola’s outstanding faculty in the sciences is a perfect fit to lay the foundation for the new nursing program, and supporting the launch will help lay the groundwork for future success.”

Geckle, senior vice president for human resources at Universal Health Services, was one of the first women enrolled at Loyola when she arrived as a transfer student in the 1970s. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at a time of significant change for the formerly all-male college. Her son, Christopher, followed her and enrolled at Loyola as a member of the Class of 2012.

Today, Geckle serves as a trustee after years of leadership on the Board of Advisors for Loyola College, the University’s school of the arts and sciences. Loyola presented Geckle with the Carroll Medal in 2018 for her noteworthy and meritorious service to the University.

“We’re grateful to Gerry for her generosity,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her gift will support the new nursing program’s mission to educate and inspire future nurses in the tradition of the Jesuit, Catholic, commitment to the whole person and excellence in learning.”

Loyola’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing will integrate the University’s liberal arts foundation with a holistic nursing education, steeped in the Jesuit tradition of care and social justice. Education in direct patient care will include a wide range of clinical rotations at Loyola’s nursing education partner, Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Upon approval from the Maryland Board of Nursing, Loyola is preparing to welcome the first BSN cohort in fall of 2025.