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A Pathway to Giving

The Capstone College of Nursing is committed to promoting wellness and work-life balance among its faculty, staff and students. A number of initiatives have been created in recent years focusing on the mental health and wellness of our nursing students, including the Student Peer Mentoring Program and the Student Mental Health and Wellness Fund.

Most recently, CCN unveiled a new permanent fixture to encourage mindfulness and relieve stresses of its faculty, staff, students and even the community. When the new wing of the nursing school was opened in January 2021, one exciting feature was the installation of a permanent outdoor meditation labyrinth. A symbolic walking meditation, the labyrinth has been used by millions as a sacred place for reflection, introspection, meditation, prayer, growth and transformation. Conscious awareness of the rhythm of your walkthrough the labyrinth allows you to empty your mind, relax and refresh your spirit.

Funding for the naming of this unique outdoor space was made possible by a contribution from long-time friends of the College, Drs. Terry and Linda Olivet.

“Terry and I are alumni of UA and I taught at CCN for many years. We both love the University and are grateful for the educational we received. Over the years we have tried to give back whenever we could,” said Linda. “When the College of Nursing and UA leaders began plans for expanding the building, Anita Hamlett brought us the idea of the Meditation Labyrinth. She had no way of knowing that would have a special meaning for me.

I am a volunteer RN for the Red Cross and worked for several weeks with health services to find shelter for displaced families after the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado. It was an extremely stressful time for our whole community and for all of us individually. About a year later I did a silent retreat at the monastery in Cullman, Ala. A feature on the grounds is a meditation labyrinth which I walked on several occasions. It was a powerful experience of reflection and encouragement.”

“When I travel in this position, alums often mention Linda as one of their most memorable professors. I knew finding the right gift to align with the Olivets’ passion at this season in their life was of paramount importance and I wanted to do so in a way that would encourage others to follow their example,” said Anita Hamlett, CCN’s Director of Development “As I was spending time learning more about Linda’s career and interests, a group of CCN faculty was advocating to create a quiet, calming outdoor space for respite and meditation.”

Anita added, “The Olivets were thrilled to support the College through a meaningful gift, but I was met with one obstacle — they were not married to the idea of having their “name” on the space. In fact, they at first suggested their gift remain anonymous. It took a little coaxing to persuade Linda that publicly linking her name with this type gift would open the doors for others, who admired her and associated her name with CCN, to also give. That is exactly what has happened.

I had the pleasure of calling Linda recently to share that one of her former students who heard about her gift at the dedication has already followed her lead and pledged to name an additional space in the college. That is the beauty and magic of having donors invested in your college’s priorities and willing to take the time to magnify the joy of the gift and its impact.”

The idea to place a labyrinth at this location was born from the desire to celebrate the memory of one of Dr. Linda Linda’s former students, Marilyn K. Mitchell, a young nurse whose life was brought to a tragic end. CCN’s Meditation Labyrinth was created to honor the memory of Ms. Mitchell and many other students, faculty, staff and alumni we have lost, and to celebrate the lives of those who answer the call to care for those in need.

“We are grateful that Dean Prevost, Anita and all the leaders at UA are finding opportunities for gifts both large and small to be used in significant ways,” said Linda. “I stood in tears as thenew addition to the CCN building was dedicated and as we read the plaque at the Meditation Labyrinth.Our hope is that many will find it a place for quiet reflection, remembrance and refreshment.”

Funding associated with this naming opportunity supports CCN’s Nursing Discretionary Endowed Enhancement Fund. Earnings from this fund will be used for a variety of purposes in support of the program’s mission, including but not limited to faculty support, professional development and research and graduate student support, research or scholarships.

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