At some point, everyone must experience that transition of being not only the children, but also the caretakers of their parents. It’s during these moments that the everyday people emerge as the ones who can help the most.
Nurses are the everyday people who come to mind for Lynn Ketterman of Frostburg. Ketterman, FSU’s Development Research Analyst and Stewardship Coordinator, watched her mother, Gi, succumb to lung cancer in 1999 and is in the process of helping her father, Roy Buckheit, deal with Parkinson’s Disease.
“My brother and I have been able to have a life because of nurses,” she says. “Nurses were able to make the time we’ve spent with our parents so positive, rather than remember all the negative things.”
Nurses also made it possible for Ketterman to find quality time for her children and her marriage – before her dad entered an assisted living program, she often agonized about leaving him home alone for fear he would hurt himself.
Ketterman also has endless gratitude for FSU, where her colleagues have provided love and support over the years. When she had to leave for an extended period of time to take care of her mom, she was able to “come back and still have my job” at the University. And when her husband, Jesse Ketterman, whom she met at FSU, was away for a year for military service, her co-workers made sure she had emotional support.
Ketterman decided to honor all these different areas of kindness and love that have come into her life through one act of giving: She and her brother, Charles, created the Roy and Gi Buckheit Endowed Scholarship, which helps fund promising FSU students who want to study nursing.
It’s a positive contribution that recognizes the nurses who have made it possible for Ketterman and her family to make it through an extremely difficult time and also fosters the University’s growing nursing academic programming. FSU launched its Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program in fall 2008, and Ketterman wanted to do something that was meaningful to her and supported the University’s efforts to contribute to the nursing workforce. She also liked the idea of doing something that reflected her parents and their lives.
“They gave a lot of time to different things – Masonic organizations, Boy Scouts, church choirs,” she said. “In some ways, this is like telling someone who they were. I want them to be remembered, to leave a legacy for them.”
The FSU Foundation has embarked on a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Donations to the Foundation support student scholarships and programs, academic programs, faculty development and other critical University needs. For more information about supporting FSU and the Roy and Gi Buckheit Endowed Scholarship, visit www.frostburg.edu/admin/foundation or call 301-687-4161.