An additional $20 million commitment to Catholic University from Bill and Joanne Conway will speed the construction of a new nursing and sciences building on campus.

“Given everything that is going on in our world — especially with situations like the COVID-19 pandemic — we will need as many well-trained, compassionate health care professionals as we can get to address the increasingly complex health challenges. We are so pleased to be making this investment in our country's healthcare readiness.”

— Bill Conway

Scott Rembold, vice president for University Advancement, said the Conways' “two gifts, totaling $40 million, will provide half the funding for this approximately $80 million building. Their further commitment, along with additional donors we will bring to the project, ensures that this excellent school will have the modern facilities it and our outstanding nursing candidates deserve.”

The couple has also invested $20 million since 2013 to fund nursing scholarships, which have thus far enabled nearly 70 students to pursue degrees. The Conways, the University’s largest benefactors to date, were celebrated last spring when the School of Nursing was named the Conway School in their honor. They both received honorary degrees from the University in 2017 in recognition of their philanthropy.

The new facility will provide space to double the current size of the student body and faculty. The majority of the building will include state-of-the-art, multi-functional learning spaces, including clinical learning and instructional support areas. New simulation labs will allow for training in high-stakes, acute care and objective-structured clinical examination. Additional labs and classrooms for anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, and a large auditorium, will also be included. Student study areas, faculty and staff offices, and common meeting spaces — including a proposed coffee house/cafe — round out the plans, which will be designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standards.

“I am confident that the Conway School will become the gold standard for nursing education in this country.”

— University President John Garvey

Bill, a University Trustee, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, said he and his wife remain focused on helping educate 20,000 nurses in answer to a U.S. nursing shortage.

“The quality of the nursing students at Catholic University is outstanding. We have been so pleased to support and get to know dozens of them, and are thrilled with the impact graduates are having in health settings here in Washington, D.C., and all over the country. We thought it was important to do whatever we can to help train more great Catholic University nurses and are gratified this new building will enable the University to achieve this goal.”

— Bill Conway

The $40 million for the new nursing and sciences building is part of a $150 million priority for premier academic environments, a goal of Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University. To date, more than $306 million has been raised toward the Campaign’s $400 million overall goal.

“Bill and Joanne have changed the lives of dozens of our students who could not have attended our school without their support,” Conway School Dean Patricia McMullen said. “Our graduates are doing so much good in the world. We have always dreamed of a day when we could educate more nurses in top-notch facilities and increase the school’s impact. Thanks to Bill and Joanne, that dream is coming true.”

Students and faculty pose by the future site of the Nursing and Sciences building