LIU Brooklyn’s School of Nursing has received a naming gift of $10 million from Helaine Lerner and Joan Rechnitz, daughters of Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn; the donation will fund a state-of-the-art Learning Resources Center at the school. It is the largest gift in the history of the campus.
Mrs. Lerner and Mrs. Rechnitz will name the nursing school in memory of their mother, the late Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn, who was a member of the university’s second graduating class; she received her degree in languages from LIU Brooklyn in 1932.
“This gift will help propel us to the forefront of nursing education in the United States, further distinguishing LIU as a leader in the field,” said Jeffrey Kane, vice president for academic affairs at LIU.
The Learning Resources Center will feature several high-fidelity simulation rooms that can be used to approximate hospital settings to create realistic environments for hands-on training in areas ranging from intensive care to emergency room practice. Other components include labs for task training, examination rooms for primary care services and additional classroom space. Faculty development programs, student scholarships, research activities and new equipment also will be funded by this gift.
Mrs. Heilbrunn and her late husband, Robert, who received honorary doctorates from LIU Brooklyn in 1997,were generous supporters of LIU Brooklyn, and their daughters have continued their commitment to the downtown Brooklyn campus. The family now has given nearly $20 million to LIU, including naming the Academic Nursing Center and establishing an endowed chair in nursing and two endowed scholarships.
“We are thrilled and grateful to receive such a generous gift from Mrs. Heilbrunn’s daughters, which will ensure that The Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing will be equipped to provide the highest level of education with an emphasis on health and well-being,and community service,” LIU Brooklyn Provost Gale Stevens Haynes said.
In addition to a generic baccalaureate in nursing and a RN-B.S. completion program, the School of Nursing offers master’s programs that train nurse executives and adult, family and gerontological nurse practitioners. LIU Brooklyn’s nursing program was established in 1955; the current School of Nursing was created in 1990.