$1M Gift from Centofanti Foundation Supports YSU Nursing School

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A $1 million gift from the Centofanti Charitable Foundation will rename the school of nursing at Youngstown State University and established a scholarship for minority nursing students at the university.

The gift and the renaming – the school is now the James and Coralie Centofanti School of Nursing – were announced Monday.

“The university School of Nursing provides such an invaluable service for our community at large in the Mahoning Valley,” said Mark Graham, chairman of the Centofanti Foundation’s distribution committee, in a statement.

Added foundation trustee Joe Centofanti: “My brother worked very hard to earn the money that he left in the Foundation to do things like this. He did the hard part – he earned the money. We’re kind of doing the easy part. We’re figuring out how to distribute it. We’re pleased to be able to do this, and I’m sure he’d be very pleased.”

James Centofanti was a long-time member of the board of directors for Farmers National Bank and successful business owner, as well as a philanthropist. Throughout his life, he and his wife support several education and community initiatives in and around Canfield. James Centofanti died in 2010. Coralie Centofanti died in 1999.

The gift is the Centofanti Foundation’s second of $1 million, following a 2012 donation to establish the James and Coralie Centofanti Center of Health and Welfare for Vulernable Populations in Youngstown State’s Bitonte College of Health and Human Services.

In 2017, the foundation pledged $500,000 to create the Centofanti Symposium, which has brought several internationally recognized speakers to YSU, including Ronan Farrow, Tarana Burke, Soledad O’Brien and Ben Carson.

“The Centofantis were widely known for their generosity and concern for the disadvantaged; we are honored to have their names on our nursing school. In turn, we pledge to the Centofantis that all nursing students will leave YSU with a keen awareness of and compassion for the health, social and emotional needs of the less fortunate in society,” said Nancy Wagner, chairwoman of the nursing school. “In this 2020 Year of the Nurse, this generous gift will allow us to continue to prepare nurse leaders and maintain and increase our excellence, especially at this critical time.”

The Centofanti School of Nursing started in 1967 as an associate degree program, then added an RN-BSN completion program. In 1997, the master’s program was added and currently includes options for family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, nursing education, and most recently, the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program. A school nurse licensure program is also available. The school starts a new doctorate of nursing practice degree program for nurse anesthesia students in 2021.

The nursing school currently has more than 350 undergraduate students and 80 graduate students, as well as 4,300 alumni. According to the university, 95% of BSN graduates are employed in the field within six months of graduation. 

Source: Youngstown State University

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.