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Institutional Advancement

Stories of Giving and Philanthropy

Your gift to the College of Nursing and Health Professions will truly make a difference. You may wonder how even a small contribution can matter to such a large university. Gifts come in many forms and sizes. Combined with other donor gifts, a comparatively minor contribution can make a major impact.

See the difference benefactors are making for the College of Nursing and Health Professions by reading their stories...

Dr. Bettina Stronach Buschel —and her husband made a grant to hire an art therapist to work for a school for orphaned more

Robert Lifshin—endowed two scholarship funds to honor his late wife, Genevieve, a more

Nancy Scheller Hays and Ronald E. Hays—established the fund to support scholarships as a way to give back because the art therapy profession has meant so much to more

Nancy Scheller Hays HU ’83 and Ronald E. Hays HU ‘77

Ronald E. Hays HU ’77 thinks men’s clothing is basically boring, so he always compensates by wearing brightly colored ties and socks. “Over the years, I built up quite a collection of ties,” he says, “and I thought, ‘What am I going to do with all of them now that I’m retiring?’ So we decided to auction them off.”

Nancy and Ron HaysThe auction was held at a party celebrating Ron’s recent retirement as a clinical associate professor in the Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The proceeds benefit The Ronald E. Hays and Nancy Scheller Hays Art Therapy Fund. Ron and his wife, Nancy Scheller Hays HU ’83, established the fund to support scholarships for graduate student in the Art Therapy Master’s Program.

"The arts complete us as human beings. They make us whole."

“With Ron retiring, we talked about ways in which to immortalize is work at Hahnemann and Drexel University,” Nancy, also an art therapist, says. “Ron and I wanted to give back. The profession of art therapy and the practice of art psychotherapy has meant so much to us, and with this fund, others will have the opportunity to continue studying at a graduate level. We hope our endowment will continue that process in perpetuity.”

Numerous friends, colleagues and current and former students turned out to honor Ron and celebrate his remarkable career as an art therapist and educator. Many contributed to the Hays Art Therapy Fund and to a memory book compiled as a keepsake of Ron’s nearly 40 years at Hahnemann University and, later, Drexel. Among the tributes, former colleague Dr. Cynthia Briggs HU ’88 wrote, “Ron had made extraordinary contributions to his field and he has also been a wonderful colleague and friend to many, which in my book is a far better measure of a man.”

Ron directs all the credit for his long career back to those he served. He contends that his art therapy patients helped him become a better clinician, and his students taught him many lessons, with art as the common denominator that served them all. “The arts complete us as human beings,” he says. “They make us whole.”

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Robert Lifshin’s Journey Leads to a Bright Future for Drexel Students

" "Robert Lifshin graduated from Drexel University’s Evening College in 1958 (he also received a certificate in 1956), and to this day, he remains grateful: “Drexel gave a 32-year-old man with a terrible high school record the opportunity to obtain an education,” he says. “I was 40 when I received my degree, but the end result was an interesting and successful career in two major federal organizations.”

A very private man, Mr. Lifshin demurs to reveal more about himself, but his desire to give back to Drexel rings loud and clear through his establishment and support of two endowed scholarship funds. “My reasons for establishing the two endowments are personal,” Mr. Lifshin allows, “but I do have a desire to show appreciation for the education I received at Drexel and for the part the nursing and medical professions played in my life.”

Both endowed scholarship funds bear the name of Mr. Lifshin’s late wife, Genevieve. “My wife was from Pittsburgh and was accepted as a cadet nurse at the Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing at Fifth and Reed, in Philadelphia,” Mr. Lifshin says. “She became a surgical nurse and was expecting to serve in the Army but the war ended and we married. She encouraged me to go to college and worked as a nurse during the day while I worked as a draftsman and went to Drexel at night. When I graduated from Drexel I accepted a position as an assistant engineering officer in the Veterans Administration, and because of travel, promotions and various transfers she eventually left the nursing profession, but I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that if it weren’t for her.”

“I will always remember this financial bridge that played an important role in my ability to continue with my graduate studies.”

The University awards financial assistance for each scholarship based on academic merit and financial need. The Robert & Genevieve E. Lifshin Endowed Graduate Fellowship Fund provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to qualifying students enrolled in the graduate program of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Anant Chopra, M.S.B.E. ’09, a biomed student in the Ph.D. program, deeply appreciates the assistance he has received through the endowed scholarship.

“This scholarship came at a critical juncture of my Ph.D. studies, at a time when my graduate assistantship was interrupted due to financial setbacks of the laboratory that sponsored my fellowship and research activity for the past two and half years,” Mr. Chopra says. “I will always remember this financial bridge that played an important role in my ability to continue with my graduate studies.”

The Genevieve E. Lifshin Endowed Scholarship Fund for Nursing Students awards financial assistance in the form of scholarships to deserving students enrolled in a nurse education degree program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Nursing student Pamela Lowy ’12 also is I grateful for the support this scholarship fund provides.

“I am so honored to accept such a generous gift,” Ms. Lowy says. “The impact Mr. Lifshin’s support has made on my college education will never be forgotten. I am so proud to call Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions my home. When I’m on co-op at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, I feel extremely proud to represent my school, and I know I have a bright future ahead of me because of the excellent Nursing education behind me.”

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Dr. Bettina Stronach Buschel HU ‘73

The Art of Therapy --

Bettina Stronach “I am lucky to have found art therapy. It has been a huge part of my life. This scholarship is provided primarily for minority students, to increase the number of people of color who aren’t as represented in the field as they ought to be.”

Dr. Bettina Stronach Buschel didn’t set out to be an art therapist. But, when she began teaching children with learning disabilities, she realized that art was a medium in which the students communicated freely.

“I was struck by the way the children’s artwork revealed so much of their inner life. In 1971, I started my art therapy degree and it utterly changed my life.”

Bettina attended the second year of Myra Levick’s pioneering art therapy program at Hahnemann. “Myra was a fabulous therapist and teacher, and I am deeply indebted to her,” Bettina says. When she graduated from Hahnemann, she returned to working with learning disabled children as an art therapist.

“I was struck by the way the children’s artwork revealed so much of their inner life. In 1971, I started my art therapy degree and it utterly changed my life.”

After she married Bruce Buschel, a Philadelphia writer/journalist, they had twin boys and she put her practice on hold. Inspired to do her own artwork, she became a noted ceramicist with galleries in New York and Philadelphia.

When her children were older, she went back into the art therapy field, earning a doctorate in art therapy at New York University, where she remains on the faculty. Living in NYC, Bettina worked at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and established art therapy programs for both children of chemically dependent parents and for families living in domestic violence shelters. Today, Bettina still consults with the domestic violence shelters.

Bettina did further child psychotherapy training at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training & Research, where she is currently on the faculty. She now works in her private practice with children in New York.

Throughout her career helping others, Bettina continued to help Drexel. “My husband and I made a grant to hire an art therapist to work for Girard College, a school for orphaned children in Philadelphia. Art therapy students from Drexel did internships there as well.” When her sister, Judith Lee Stronach, a lifelong scholar, social activist, and philanthropist, passed away, Bettina started the Stronach/Buschel Fund for art therapy scholarships at Drexel in both her and her sister’s names. What a gift for giving!

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To learn more about how you can make an impact, please contact
Laura Valenti
Associate Vice President, Development and Marketing, Office of Institutional Advancement
Tel 215.762.2041
Fax 215.762.7778

Rachel Ward
Administrative Assistant
Tel 215.762.8868
Fax 215.762.7778

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