Skip to main content

Major gift, choice of architect propel Nursing Science Center campaign

April 16, 2010

A $500,000 gift from Barbara D. and M. Keith Weikel (’62 MS PHM, ’66 PhD BUS) has provided further momentum to the campaign for a new Nursing Science Center.

“The Nursing Science Center offered another opportunity for us to help the university. Madison and the university will always be close to our hearts.”

Barbara Weikel

In related news, Kahler Slater, a Wisconsin-based architectural-engineering firm, has been selected to conduct programming validation and provide the architectural design for the Nursing Science Center. Construction on the $52 million, 100,000-square-foot building is slated to begin in 2011, with completion scheduled for summer 2013.

The Weikels’ gift will name the Barbara D. Weikel Clinical Practice Laboratory in the Nursing Science Center, to be located in the heart of UW–Madison’s vibrant health science campus.

“The need for well-trained nurses is great now, and that need will only grow in the future,” says Barbara Weikel, who with her husband splits time between homes in Sea Island, Ga., and Toledo, Ohio. “With the new health-care law, I believe nurses will have more responsibilities than ever, and those nurses will have to be very well-trained.

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison always has been a well-regarded research institution, and we believe the School of Nursing will be able to give these nurses the base of knowledge they will require,” she adds.

Barbara D. Weikel worked as a nurse at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Madison while Keith was earning his Ph.D. in the School of Business. He spent his career in the health-care field, retiring as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for HCR Manorcare.

Previous major gifts to the university from the Weikels created the M. Keith Weikel Chair in Leadership and the M. Keith Weikel Executive Leadership Speaker Series Fund in the Wisconsin School of Business.

“The Nursing Science Center offered another opportunity for us to help the university,” Barbara Weikel says. “Madison and the university will always be close to our hearts.”

School of Nursing Dean Katharyn May praised the Weikels for their vision.

“We are most grateful to Barbara and Keith Weikel,” May says. “They realize that their gift will have a tremendous impact on the quality of nursing in Wisconsin. Nursing education and research have a ripple effect. Students educated in the Barbara D. Weikel Clinical Practice Laboratory will be the nurses caring for you and me.”

As for the selected architect, May said: “The School of Nursing is thrilled to partner with Kahler Slater on this project. This is an outstanding architectural firm, with a well-deserved reputation for excellence. It is so exciting to see this plan, now more than 20 years in the making, finally becoming a reality.”

Kahler Slater designed the Health Sciences Learning Center at UW–Madison. The firm has also designed the Nursing Clinical Education Center at the University of Iowa, the School of Nursing and Student Community Center at the University of Texas and the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Expansion at Case Western Reserve University, among other projects.

The Nursing Science Center will serve as a cornerstone for transforming nursing practice to address 21st-century challenges and opportunities. The center will:

• Enable the school to prepare nurses for the growing complexity of health care with large, flexible classrooms equipped with cutting-edge instructional tools;

• Provide a setting that takes full advantage of evolving technology for both teaching and care management with dynamic laboratories that simulate nursing environments and can adapt to changing technologies;

• Create places where students, faculty and the community can come together to collaborate, learn and share in a 250-seat auditorium and interactive space for conferences and meetings and distance technology rooms for off-site education and research programs;

• Allow the school to educate more nurses, nurse faculty and nurse researchers, and,

• Make room to expand faculty and research capability, accommodating 10 additional tenure-track professors and flexible work space for an additional 30 to 40 doctoral students.

The capital campaign for a new Nursing Science Center is being conducted through the UW Foundation. The UW Foundation raises, invests and distributes funds for the benefit of the UW–Madison.