The Department of Nursing began the fall semester with a new name and an important gift.

In September, the department announced a $1 million gift from Dr. Fay Bradley and also a new name. It is now the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing, honoring Dr. Bradley’s mother.

University officials said the elevation of the department to the rank of a school within the university recognizes the nursing program’s growing size and complexity.

President Steve Scott said the announcement was a reminder of the roles that families play in the life of the university.

“I always describe our alumni as family,” Scott said. “Family is a powerful word. It evokes memories in each of us…Family is what brings us here today. We are here to celebrate the love and sacrifice of a mother for her family.”

The president described the life of Irene Ransom Bradley, who was born in Texas and moved to Independence, Kan., in 1919. There she met and married Henry Bradley and worked as a domestic in a private home earning just $3.50 a week.

Neither Irene or Henry finished high school, but they believed in education and made sure their six children got their high school diplomas. Four of the six children earned college degrees and Fay went on to earn professional degrees in both law and medicine.

A retired physician who now lives in Independence, Kan., Fay Bradley earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from PSU in 1960.

Bradley came to PSU on a track scholarship, competing in the high hurdles, quarter-mile and mile relay. After graduating from PSU, he served in the Army as a medical lab technician. He went on to earn both a law degree and a medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Upon earning his medical degree, Bradley began a long career as a physician, serving with the United States Public Health Service until his retirement in 1992.

Dr. Bradley received PSU’s Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award in 2009.