Couple Makes Record Donation to University
2 June 2015 at 12:07 pm
A philanthropic Sydney couple have made an unprecedented $10.8 million donation to the University of Sydney’s nursing school.
Susan and Isaac Wakil started selling off their vast Sydney property portfolio last year to fund their charitable foundation.
The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation chose to direct its first major donation to the Sydney Nursing School, with the gift pushing the University of Sydney past $500 million in philanthropic funds raised since 2008.
The $10.8 million, which is the largest ever donation to a nursing school in Australia, will be used to establish 12 annual scholarships to assists nursing students with study, tuition and accommodation.
Beginning in 2016, The Susan Wakil Scholarships will assist both undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses, with some scholarships earmarked for rural, regional and indigenous students.
The University of Sydney said the donation ensured that Sydney Nursing School will be able to offer Susan Wakil Scholarships to student nurses in perpetuity.
Isaac Wakil said he and his wife enjoyed the feeling that came with becoming philanthropists.
“Susan and I appreciate the valuable work of nurses in the frontline of health care,” Wakil said.
“Regrettably, nurses don't always get the recognition or headlines they deserve for the critical and very personal care they bring to patients. These new scholarships are a way of supporting the tuition and career development of deserving students and nurses now and into the future.
“Australia is a great country and it's a good feeling to give something back.”
Dean of Sydney Nursing School, Professor Donna Waters, described the gift as an “extraordinary act of generosity”.
“I think it's terrific that they have seen and acknowledged the importance of nursing in the health care system,” Waters said.
“Nurses coordinate and provide care to others, every day and everywhere. They really are the linchpin of the entire system. To have this suite of scholarships available to a broad range of bright Australians committing to a career in nursing is magnificent.”
The donation by the Wakil’s saw the university surpass $500 million in funds raised through INSPIRED – the campaign to support the University of Sydney.
The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation donation also comes as the University celebrates its 40,000th donor to INSPIRED.
“Much of the proud history of the University was made possible by the far-sighted generosity of our donors," University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence said.
“It gives me great pleasure to thank our community of 40,000 donors who, like us, are inspired to find cures and answers, increase access, pursue excellence and endow the future.”