Carroll Receives $1 Million Grant for Nursing Program from E. L. Wiegand Foundation

Friday, April 26, 2019

HELENA, MT – Carroll College is pleased to announce that the trustees of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation of Reno, NV, have awarded the college $1,007,500 to fund the E. L. Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center.

The Nursing Simulation Center at Carroll College will reconfigure the nursing department’s laboratories, offices, and classroom space on the fourth floor of Simperman Hall, Carroll’s science and technology building. This project focuses specifically on three labs and one observation room that constitute the heart of the program, where students learn real-world application of classroom lessons in a safe, realistic healthcare setting.

These renovations and new equipment will strengthen the curriculum, in addition to allowing the program to increase its capacity, begin a post-baccalaureate accelerated nursing program, and explore the viability of a graduate nursing program. The Nursing Simulation Center will also address the national growing need for baccalaureate-prepared nurses and the unique challenges facing rural healthcare. According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (MTDLI), there are approximately 17,300 RNs in Montana with an estimated 14% of all RNs retiring in the next ten years.

“This Nursing Simulation Center will elevate Carroll’s nursing program to the next level, both enhancing our reputation and growing our impact, by providing the nursing program with the facilities, equipment, and technology needed to produce quality registered nurses who are well-prepared to serve the distinctive needs of rural healthcare in Montana,” said Carroll College President John Cech, PhD.

The facility will also benefit Carroll College by promoting teaching and engaged learning through high-impact practices, and offering the opportunity for the college to explore new academic programs that serve a demonstrated need, achieve distinction, and attract students.

“Since 1982, the E. L. Wiegand Foundation has sought to pursue demonstrated excellence. Throughout the years, we have witnessed Carroll College sustain its Roman Catholic mission while transforming its campus and curriculum. We endorse the timely nursing initiative and are delighted to be your philanthropic partner,” stated Kristen Avansino, President & Executive Director, E. L. Wiegand Foundation.

“We are very grateful to the trustees of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation for supporting our students through this transformational gift,” said Cech. “This valuable addition to our nursing program will help ensure that Carroll continues its strong tradition of graduating exceptionally well-prepared individuals in the nursing field.”

President Cech announced at his inauguration ceremony that the E. L. Wiegand Foundation’s grant will serve as a catalyst for a broader “Nursing and Health Professions” campaign at the college. Cech addressed specifics for increasing the college’s statewide impact in reducing the shortage of nurses through the expansion of its nursing program as well as the goal to move forward with new graduate programs in the health professions including: Physician Assistant, Master of Social Work (LCSW), and Master of Genetic Counseling.

The E. L. Wiegand Foundation has been a generous supporter of Carroll’s science and engineering initiatives over the last 30 years. In addition to this grant, the Foundation has provided over $2.8 million to Carroll College, including major funding for the E. L. Wiegand Integrated Research and Learning Lab completed in December 2014, featuring a high-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer.

For information on how to support the E. L. Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center at Carroll College, please contact Michael McMahon, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at or (406) 447-5528.

About the E. L. Wiegand Foundation

The E. L. Wiegand Foundation embodies the spirit of Edwin L. Wiegand, his adherence to the work ethic, profound confidence in democracy and the free market system, lifelong scientific curiosity, appreciation of the fine arts, and his belief in the Roman Catholic faith. Established in 1982, the Foundation funds programs and projects of organizations demonstrating excellence, achievement and significant impact in their fields.

Carroll College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts and pre-professional college in Montana's capital city of Helena. Carroll College has earned top national and regional awards for its academic programs, professors and extraordinary tuition value. For eight years in a row, Carroll has been ranked as the number one regional college in the West by U.S. News & World Report.