Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA, Chair, Viterbo Board of Trustees
As chair of the Viterbo University Board of Trustees, I am happy to announce that the trustees have given their unanimous approval to a resolution calling for Viterbo University to proceed with construction of a new state-of-the-art nursing facility at a cost not to exceed $15.8 million.
It is estimated that construction will begin shortly and the building will be ready to greet nursing and dietetics students for the start of classes in fall 2011.
The trustees are well aware of the critical importance of this project to aspiring Viterbo nurses, to health care employers, to the challenging, and changing needs of the professions of nursing and dietetics, and for the continuing overall growth of Viterbo University.
The trustees are 100 percent supportive of this new facility because of the tremendous opportunities it will provide to educate better prepared and more health care professionals. The effects of our May 17 decision will extend well beyond our lifetimes.
I think you will be impressed, too, when you hear shortly about the generous financial commitment many have provided to support this project, which benefits our entire community. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
As a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, I can say our religious community is very proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Viterbo.
Nursing is very special to the sisters. It was a couple Franciscan Sisters who joined with a few local doctors to open St. Francis Hospital on December 31, 1883. So our commitment to nursing is almost as long as our commitment to round-the-clock prayer.
So….to you President Artman, to Dean Richardson, to the faculty from the School of Nursing and dietetics program who are here today, congratulations as we all realize the continuation of our mission and the fulfillment of a dream.
The words that came to my mind after the board made this momentous decision were BIG - BOLD - BRAVE. And in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, we "did what was ours to do."
Now we trust the contractors to make real the dream so that in August 2011 we can open the doors of the new building and welcome the first students who will take that historic walk through the threshold of a facility that signals a new era for Viterbo, for La Crosse, for the region.