Alumna finds reward in giving…and in a special friendship

By Jill Jansen

The benefits Jane Skelton has received from IU School Nursing extend far beyond the years she attended as a student. A 1960 graduate, Jane experienced personal and professional satisfaction as a hospice nurse for many years. As an alumna, she has nurtured an enduring friendship with a small group of nursing classmates, who in their younger days took annual trips together. In becoming a donor, she not only found reward in funding student scholarships, but also in a special friendship with
Janet McCully, who retired this year after 18 years as IU School of Nursing’s development director.

“We both have a love of reading, and that’s been the cohesive thing about our friendship,” Jane says. “We started talking about books, and that kind of started it all.”

Meetings between the two women would often end with Jane sharing a current list of her favorite books.

“We’re both ‘people persons’—we just seemed drawn to each other the first time we met.”

Since 2017, Jane and her husband Larry, who passed away in September, have generously supported the scholarship that was formed by members of the Class of 1960 to mark their 50th class reunion. The Emily Holmquist/Dorcas Rock Brewer Scholarship, established in honor of two of their esteemed faculty, is funded as an endowment that enables it to exist in perpetuity, with the interest earned each year providing much needed financial support to nursing students.

In addition, the Skeltons established their own scholarship for nursing students—the Skelton Family Scholarship and have considered contributions to other nursing programs, including IUSON’s partnership in the IU Student Outreach Clinic.

In keeping with the tradition forged during her meetings with Janet, Jane shared a few literary favorites:

  • The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
  • A View Across the Rooftops by Suzanne Kerman
  • The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosen
  • The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth
  • The Rent Collector by Cameron Wright
  • The Skylarks Secret by Fiona Valpry
  • The Island of See Women by Lisa See
  • The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
  • The Address by Fiona Davis
  • The Downstairs Girl by Stacy Lee