ADA, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation and Governor Bill Anoatubby have announced a lead gift of $5 million that will go towards the construction of a new building that will house ECU’s Nursing and STEM programs, and allow ECU to expand the School of Nursing even further.
"We believe it is important to support this new facility which will enable ECU to meet the growing need for highly trained nurses as well as the need to develop STEM programs that keep pace with advances in science and technology," said Governor Anoatubby. "This investment in education is sure to bring returns in the form of students who are better prepared to meet challenges, seize opportunities, and become industry leaders."
This generous gift, combined with $7.3 million funding from Oklahoma’s American Rescue Plan Act, will allow ECU to begin development on the project.
“We cannot thank Governor Anoatubby and the Chickasaw Nation enough for their gift and support in the growth of ECU and the School of Nursing,” stated ECU president Wendell Godwin. “This new facility will help us educate and graduate twice as many nursing students, making ECU the premier nursing program in southern Oklahoma.”
Currently, the School of Nursing and Computer Science program is housed in Science Hall – ECU’s oldest building, built in 1910. The new building will allow ECU to modernize instructional facilities and expand capacity for Nursing and other STEM programs to address workforce needs in Oklahoma. The proposed School of Nursing will be located north of the Physical and Environmental Science Center, on the corner of N. Francis Ave. and E. 9th St.
“With the capability and capacity of the proposed building, ECU’s nursing program can admit and graduate an estimated 150 students per year. By fall 2026, we project 375 to 400 admitted nursing students in the program., learning to be safety conscious, competent, and skilled nurses,” said Dr. Darcy Duncan, director of ECU’s School of Nursing. “We are so appreciative to the Chickasaw Nation and Governor Anoatubby for their generous gift and helping take the next step in making this project becoming a reality.”
Among the highlights of this facility include a simulation center, more than 25 hands-on learning labs and STEM classrooms equipped with the latest technology which will reaffirm ECU’s commitment to educating students and to transforming students’ lives for generations to come.
The Chickasaw Nation has a long history of supporting and partnering with ECU on several projects and initiatives that have supported a wide range of areas both academically and athletically.