April 25, 2023

Joseph Hall, B.A. 1988 and Catherine Hall, B.A. 1990 and M.S.W. 2017, have donated $150,000 to support the launch of a Center for Future Faculty at the Conway School of Nursing. Their gift was made in response to a challenge grant — the Conway Innovation Grant — provided by University Trustee Bill Conway, his wife, Joanne, and The Bedford Falls Foundation calling for innovative ideas to address the nursing faculty shortage. The Conway School’s Center for Future Faculty will work in collaboration with Trinity Washington University, Howard University, and George Washington University to prepare a diverse and inclusive group of ethical nursing educators who are grounded in shared values of respect for the dignity of individuals, families, and communities.

The Halls made the gift in honor of their fathers, Brendan Eamon Treanor and Harry Hall saying, "The shortage of nurses and qualified medical staff is a growing crisis in the United States.  We're delighted to support efforts to address this shortage through preparation of nursing faculty -- an investment that we hope will not only support those seeking degrees but will ultimately touch the lives of those they go on to serve.  Making this gift in honor of our fathers seemed a fitting tribute to two men who left an indelible imprint on their communities."

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that a lack of nursing faculty is a major contributing factor to the nursing shortage crisis. Over 90,000 qualified applicants to BSN and higher degree programs are being turned away due to an insufficient number of faculty. The objective of this Center is to be the home for the preparation of future nurse educators at both the masters and doctoral levels through academic coursework, teaching residences, and leadership mentorship. It will leverage the strength of Catholic University in ethics and theology to prepare the next generation of resilient and ethical nurse leaders who find meaning in nursing by bringing their whole selves, mind, body, and spirit to their nursing practice.

The Center will use the Conway Innovation Grant to provide tuition stipend support for DNP and Ph.D. students who will complete up to nine credits of coursework on nursing education and serve as teaching assistants in one of the four Washington, D.C.-based schools of nursing. The Fellows will be selected for the program based on their commitment to being future faculty members, their academic record of success, as well as their ability to bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the cohort of learners. 

Joe and Catherine Hall’s interest in nursing was driven by their work in related fields, Catherine through her mental health counseling as a social worker and Joe through his professional involvement in the healthcare industry.  

Joe Hall is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of Highmark Health and the Allegheny Health Network and was formerly vice chairman of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, and chairman of the board of CareFirst of Maryland. Joe, a long-time Goldman Sachs advisor, is also an award-winning filmmaker who has produced and directed seven films including The Road to Galena, which was screened to an alumni and student audience here on campus in 2022. 

Catherine Hall, who received her bachelor's in English Literature and master's in Social Work at Catholic University, is currently a school social worker at Yorktown High School for Arlington Public Schools. She and Joe have four children and live in Washington, D.C.

Dean Marie Nolan commented, “We are so grateful for Joe and Catherine Hall’s leadership donation. Their support will make a significant impact on the Conway School of Nursing and nursing education as a whole. The Center for Future Faculty is exactly the type of intervention we need! It will address the nursing faculty shortage by creating a diverse and inclusive group of ethical nursing educators who will be well-prepared to serve the nursing profession with their whole selves: mind, body, and spirit.”