Volume 3, Number 6 - November 13, 2012

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Diana Cricien


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MDC Nursing School
Nursing School: Miami Dade College renamed its nursing school The Benjamin Leon School of Nursing at MDC in recognition of a $5 million donation by the Leon family. ZENAIDA DURARTE / THE REPORTER

School Of Nursing Receives $5 Million Donation

By Diana Cricien
diana.cricien001@mymdc.net

Miami Dade College’s  School of Nursing received a $5 million donation from Leon Medical Centers, a leading healthcare services provider that caters to  seniors. The company was founded by Benjamin Leon Jr.

The donation was awarded in honor of  the school of nursing's 50th anniversary. The program located at 950 N.W. 20 Street, which opened in 1962, was renamed The Benjamin Leon School of Nursing at Miami Dade College in recognition of the donation.

Starting in January of 2013, the school will receive $500,000 each year for the next ten years, according Amy Pettigrew,  the nursing school’s dean.

“Out of their generosity they are investing in health care providers for the future,” Pettigrew said.

Half of the money will go toward scholarships, the rest of the funds will be used to support the operation of the school, capital improvements, equipment, a lecture series and for faculty to attend conferences.

Ten scholarships will be awarded each year. The money will be accessible to students who have recently completed their Associates of Science in nursing degrees, are not employed as registered nurses and are moving on directly to the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program as full-time students.

Frantz Jean Charles, a student in the BSN program, who said he works  in the ER Department at Aventura Hospital, hopes to benefit from the Leon family’s donation.

“It is positive” Jean Charles said about the donation, “a good  cause.”

The donation is not the first the Leon family has made toward education; in 2008, Benjamin Leon Jr. donated $10 million to FIU’s College of Medicine.

The nursing program at MDC is highly competitive, accepting approximately one out of every four applicants, according to Pettigrew. It has graduated 19,000 nurses for hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices in the community, and graduates more minority students than any other school in the country.


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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