Inside USD

Nursing for a New Age: Beyster Family $7 Million Gift to Fund Groundbreaking Institute

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A gift of $7 million from Dr. and Mrs. J. Robert Beyster will fund a groundbreaking nursing institute at the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

The institute will be called the Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice, and Simulation, announced Sally Brosz Hardin, PhD, APRN, FAAN, dean of the nursing school. “There is no other institute for nursing research of this kind in the United States. I am so grateful to Mrs. Beyster and the whole Beyster family. They understand the importance of nursing research and advanced practice for the future of healthcare for San Diego, for all of California and the country,” she said.

Dr. Beyster, a respected physicist, founded SAIC, the largest employee-owned research and engineering firm in the United States in 1969.  Today, SAIC is an internationally respected company with offices and employees around the globe. Dr. Beyster is also the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Enterprise Development, which assists organizations considering employee ownership.  Mrs. Betty Beyster is a devoted volunteer, who has served on many boards in San Diego and is an accomplished gardener.  Together, the Beysters are generous philanthropists who have supported the arts, culture, education, employee ownership, the environment and health and human services.

“We are very encouraged by the work the USD School of Nursing is doing to dramatically increase the number of nursing educators.  We want to help the school further their work in this area and expand its teaching and research facilities,” said Mrs. Beyster. “There is still so much work to do and so we hope our gift will inspire others to contribute to the school and help them dramatically increase the number of advanced practice registered nurses, nurse educators and nurse scientists in our region.”

“The Beysters’ $7 million gift covers nearly half the costs of this crucial $15 million project,” Hardin said. “We are confident other donors will join the Beysters to help us raise the additional funds.”

Built in 1978, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science was intended to serve just 100 students. Today, the school enrolls more than 450 students, and has provided up to 43 percent of the faculty for other nursing schools in San Diego. Moreover, the school is an incubator of nurse scientists, who guide and shape health care practice and policy at the local, national, and global level.

The new institute will be built immediately adjacent to the existing Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science building on the south side of the USD campus. The three-story, LEED Gold Certified building will provide the most technologically advanced equipment available for students, faculty and area nurses.

The first floor will house an expanded Simulation and Standardized Patient Nursing Laboratory (USD’s is a nationally recognized model lab). The second floor will provide faculty, doctoral students and alumni with access to biomedical and nursing literature in a dedicated Doctoral Research Library. The building’s centerpiece will be the third floor that will house The Research Center, the heart of the school’s research efforts, seminar rooms and classrooms featuring moveable glass walls.

In her announcement, Hardin said, “We believe the idea-brokers, the ambitious researchers, will find the third-floor incredibly inspiring. However, the building will feature something for all of our nursing students, our outstanding faculty, and practitioners. Most importantly, this building will allow us to significantly increase our enrollment and our impact on the nursing profession locally, regionally and nationally.”

– Pamela Gray Payton

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