Southern Vermont College receives $100K gift to support nursing scholarships

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Southern Vermont College receives $100K gift to support nursing scholarships

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 5:58am -- tim

Nicholas M. Donofrio, former IBM Vice President of Innovation and Technology and IBM Fellow Emeritus, speaks to the Class of 2017 after being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at SVC’s commencement ceremony

Vermont Business Magazine Southern Vermont College (SVC) has announced the receipt of a gift of $100,000 from award-winning former IBM executive Nicholas M Donofrio to support scholarships for new nursing students entering the BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program. The scholarship also applies to transfer students entering the BSN program.

Distribution of The Nicholas Donofrio Distinguished Nursing Scholarship funds will begin in the Fall 2018 semester. The deadline to apply for the scholarship will be March 30, 2018, with mid-April decisions and notifications to applicants. In addition to meeting scholarship requirements, students applying for the BSN program must first meet admission requirements.

“We are grateful for the opportunity this scholarship provides for students who otherwise might not have been able to attend a BSN program to achieve their academic and career goals,” said Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Services Mary Botter, PhD, RN. “With a shortage of BSN prepared RNs in the region and nation, this scholarship also serves to strengthen healthcare in our communities.”

SVC’s BSN program prepares individuals for professional careers. The academic requirements are rigorous and require motivation and dedication well beyond the classroom and clinical laboratory assignments and expectations. The BSN program includes active learning, exploration, empowerment, citizenship, personalized learning as a process which fosters responsibility, accountability, self-knowledge, and critical thinking in a caring environment. The College’s top-notch BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

Graduates of the BSN program are eligible to apply for licensure by examination through any State Board of Nursing. Successful completion of the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) and compliance with all requirements for licensure as established by the State Board of Nursing are required for licensure as a Registered Nurse. The College’s 2017 pre-licensure BSN graduates had a 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX. SVC’s cumulative first-time pass rate for the 2016 and 2017 pre-licensure BSN classes is 94.4 percent, surpassing the 2016 national average of 84.5 percent and the 2015 Vermont average of 84 percent.

Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who, as Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology, helped steward the company through tremendous periods of change and growth. In 2008, he became an IBM fellow, the company’s highest technical honor. Throughout his career, Donofrio worked to advance education, employment, and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women. Since his retirement, this is a cause that continues to occupy a great deal of his focus and attention. In May 2017, Donofrio was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at SVC’s commencement ceremony. 

Donofrio holds a master's degree and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, respectively. He has received honorary doctorates from Polytechnic University (now NYU-Poly), University of Warwick-UK, Marist College, University of Edinburgh-UK, Pace University, National University of Ireland-Maynooth and Syracuse University, where he is currently on the Board of Trustees.

He is a Fellow at the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Fellow at the U.K.-base Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the U.S.-based National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bank of New York Mellon, Liberty Mutual, Delphi Automotive, AMD, O'Brien & Gere, Sproxil and MITRE. 

Donofrio has many professional board affiliations including serving on the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and INROADS, a non-profit organization focused on the training and development of talented minority youth for professional careers in business and industry. He served for many years on the board of the New York Hall of Science and currently enjoys Chair/Trustee Emeritus status.  He currently serves on the board of the New York Genome Center. He was named by the Governor of Connecticut to the Board of Regents for Higher Education in 2012 and then appointed by the Governor as its Chairman in 2014.  He completed his four-year term in June 2016. In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the United States Institute of Peace’s Peace Tech Lab and in 2015, became its Chairman. Also in 2015, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors. 

Founded in 1974 but with roots extending to 1926, Southern Vermont College is a small, liberal arts college located on a 371-acre campus overlooking the Green Mountains. The College aspires to be a model of an enlightened educational community: diverse, supportive, environmentally respectful and socially responsible. Through its career-focused, liberal arts curriculum, SVC transforms students into engaged citizens with a broad perspective of an ever-changing society. Classroom learning is combined with real-life, real-world experiences in the study of business, humanities, nursing and health services, natural sciences and math, and the social sciences. SVC’s athletic teams are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community-Engagement Classification Institution. For more information, visit

Source: (BENNINGTON, Vt.) – Southern Vermont College 2.26.2018. Additional information on SVC’s Nursing program is available by contacting the Office of Admissions at 802-447-6300 or and can be viewed at