Philanthropy - Planned Giving

Aiding the evolution of nursing inspires this alum to give

Cathy Peters, MS, APRN-BC, NNP
Cathy Peters (second from left) is pictured with (from left to right) Cynthia Jean Gibson, Ponrathi R. Athilingam, Jane I. Tuttle, and Dean Kathy P. Parker at the 2009 Sigma Theta Tau Membership Induction Ceremony.

Some things in life have just felt like a “natural choice” for Cathy Peters, MS, APRN-BC, NPP. The first was pursuing a career in nursing. “Many of my relatives are physicians and nurses. I’ve had a lifelong interest in health care,” she said.

Peters earned a master’s degree as a family health nurse clinician from the School of Nursing in the early 1980s. Throughout her career, she’s had an interest in the mind-body connection of patient care, and she completed a post-master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing in 2000. She is currently a primary clinician in the comprehensive psychiatric emergency program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Since 2002, Peters has maintained an appointment at the School of Nursing as assistant professor of clinical nursing, and also serves as assistant clinical professor, adjunct faculty, in the division of medical humanities of the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

For Peters, including the School in her estate planning was also a natural choice.

“The School of Nursing has been such a large part of my life,” she said. “I have grown and blossomed in the context of both education and career. My professional relationship with the School, in collaboration with my work at the Medical Center, has provided a platform for so many opportunities: mentoring students, publishing, and now as a board member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing.

“Colleagues and I have discussed our legacy—you know, the kind of mark we want to leave on the world. For me, there is no better way than to encourage the advancement of others in the form of student scholarships,” she said.

“I’ve had the good fortune to be part of the School under the leadership of three outstanding women: Loretta Ford, Pat Chiverton and Kathy Parker,” said Peters. “I am in awe of their impact on the evolution of nursing, and I want to be part of maintaining that momentum by supporting the School of Nursing in my will.”

In response to those who may ask how they can help, Peters suggest the following: “Consider how the School has impacted your life and career, and how you can impact the lives of future generations of students. Give the gift of opportunity.”

For a confidential conversation or more information about ways in which you may support the School of Nursing through your will, please contact Marianne Virgilio in the University Office of Trusts and Estates at 585-273-1167 or e-mail her a at


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