Alumna and USF Volunteer to Support USF Through Her Retirement Plan
Maureen O'Hara (right) pictured with fellow School of Nursing and Health Professions alumnae, Jo Ann Cahill.
Being a first-generation college graduate is a distinction that Maureen O’Hara, BSN ’72, does not take lightly. “USF gave me a scholarship—and as a result, I found my profession, made lifelong friends, and absorbed Jesuit values that still inspire me today. I was blessed.”
After earning her nursing degree, O’Hara worked for 42 years as an oncology nurse at Stanford Hospital—where she earned numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society’s Award for Outstanding Work with Cancer Patients and the Oncology Nursing Society’s National Oncology Certified Nurse of the Year
O’Hara credits her achievements and passion for her work in part to her family’s work ethic and her education at USF. “Not only were the faculty tremendous, USF puts out a different kind of nurse. This has to do with Jesuit values, such as ‘men and women for others’ and ‘cura personalis,’ that are instilled in the program. Working with marginalized people was and still is part of the training at USF. Our rotations included SF General, San Francisco Public Health Department in the Western Addition, and Children’s Hospital in Oakland. We saw social justice as part of being a nurse.”
O’Hara has educated USF students in classes on Working with Patients and Families with Life Threatening Illnesses and mentors a student through USF’s Alumni Mentor Program. O’Hara has served on many committees and boards, including the alumni Board of Directors, Peninsula Silicon Valley Alumni Regional Council, and the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board for the School of Nursing and Health Professions.
O’Hara’s desire to support USF grew from her parents’ teaching to always give back and USF’s impact on her life. Her remarkable volunteer efforts are not the only kind of generosity she has shown USF. O’Hara has named USF as a beneficiary of her retirement plan. When asked how she came to make this type of gift, she explains, “I told my financial advisor that I wished to donate to USF through my estate plan, and he showed me this tax-saving way to do it. My goal is to help USF to continue to produce Jesuit trained nurses. The more USF nurses out in the field, the better the world of healthcare will be.”