Robert Milos has a mission to ensure great minds in Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) esteemed College of Nursing can fulfill the dream of earning a college degree despite a temporary financial setback.
The newly established Robert Winston Milos Endowment supports nursing students who are in good academic standing and exhibit sudden emergency financial uncertainty that may delay or interrupt their academic pursuits. Milos made an initial $50,000 gift, and hopes others will be inspired to contribute and grow the fund.
“I was blessed to attend college, but along the way in my journey I met students who were excellent and committed, but suffered an obstacle that set them back. Some dropped out because of it,” said Milos.
“This is an investment that makes a difference,” Milos added. “We’re all going to need nurses at some point in our lives, and there is such a nursing shortage. I’ve tried to remove some of those barriers to help aspiring nursing students with a wide range of unexpected expenses, so they don’t have to miss a semester or two.”
Bolstered by a family legacy of dedication to health care in Northwest Indiana, Milos sees the endowment as a vehicle for everyone, whether or not they personally benefit from it, to “pay it forward.”
“I have come to understand the value of Purdue Northwest’s nursing program,” said Milos. “PNW’s commitment to excellence in this field … is making a real contribution to the healthcare of the Region and to their students. I wanted to be part of that.”
For students facing hardships the difficulty can be catching up, which is why the endowment will provide emergency resources discreetly and free of charge.
Though the endowment is new, Milos’s commitment to the cause is not. His past gifts to PNW already have helped 42 students, according to Dr. Lisa Hopp, dean of PNW’s College of Nursing.
“Mr. Milos has touched on a real need,” said Hopp. “Among students benefiting from his generosity, some have faced eviction, struggled with medical bills for themselves or family members, or have had car problems preventing them from getting to class.”
Even though the situations vary, Hopp said the stress students experience can be similarly overwhelming and deeply personal—emotions that are evident in the notes she and Milos have received from thankful students.
Restoring dignity and pride to resilient PNW nursing students will be the enduring legacy of the Robert Winston Milos Endowment. Its impact will be lasting and far-reaching, as best illustrated by a beneficiary of a previous Milos gift:
“I have given all of my time towards this program; and even through the hardships and obstacles I have faced, I stand proud of all the accomplishments I have made in my short time at Purdue University Northwest. At the end of the day, I want to set an example for my daughters. They have been the driving force towards making it this far. I, as a mother, need to exemplify the spirit of perseverance in the face of adversity. I want them to remember that if a mother of two can obtain a degree after years of obstacles, they, too, can reach well beyond their wildest dreams and expectations.”