Karen Fawcett, Alumni
"We received tremendous teaching and support when we were students;
now we have the ability to give it back."
Karen Fawcett ’83 returned to college, she planned to earn a bachelor
degree in nursing. Although she had a nursing diploma and was working as
a registered nurse, Fawcett entered Winona State much like any other
freshman and took four years to graduate.
experience at Winona State profoundly changed Fawcett. Nursing is a
profession and Fawcett had always been devoted to those she worked with
as an RN. The WSU nursing faculty and her fellow students inspired her
to explore her skills and discover previously hidden strengths. She
learned more about herself and her purpose in
Nursing Department was a true community,” says Fawcett. “We were
and we supported each other. I grew tremendously and became much more
aware of my leadership skills and how I could apply them in the world.”
After graduation, Fawcett changed course, volunteering with community
agencies and directing a Winona Area Public Schools home visit program.
She remains widely admired for her work and her service in the
As other responsibilities captured more attention, her connection with
Winona State waned. Fawcett and her husband, O.J., had always supported
the Rosemary Langston Nursing Scholarship, but she wasn’t fully engaged
with the department that had reshaped her
Fawcett decided to make another return. When asked to co-chair the
committee for the Light the Way capital campaign, she saw it as an
opportunity to reconnect with a community she treasured and its new
generation of students.
Because of the impact it had on her life, Fawcett first focused on
leading scholarship initiatives in the College of Nursing and Health
Sciences. She believes the high quality of the faculty and students that
she enjoyed continues but scholarship support is
lagging. Making education accessible to a diverse range of students is
even more critical.
she has already helped secure a major gift for the Langston Scholarship
undergraduate nursing majors, Fawcett is aiming higher. She wants to
inspire more alumni to re-establish their relationships with the Winona
State nursing community, just as she did.
“We received tremendous teaching and support when we were students,” says Fawcett. “Now we have the ability to give it back.”
Support the Langston Scholarship or other scholarships in nursing and the health sciences by contacting the WSU Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org