Barbara and Donald Jonas to Receive Honorary Doctorates from Frontier Nursing University

Hyden, KY, July 26, 2017 – In honor of their extensive support and contributions to the advancement of nursing, Frontier Nursing University is awarding honorary doctorate degrees to philanthropists Barbara and Donald Jonas. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 27 in Greenwich, CT.

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) Board Chair Michael Carter and FNU President Dr. Susan Stone will present the Jonas’ with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

In 2005, the Jonas’, who are noted art collectors, auctioned off 15 of their abstract expressionist artworks. That generated millions in seed money to create their own masterpiece: The Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund.

As they sought the appropriate beneficiaries, Barbara, a psychiatric social worker, and Donald, a leader in retail, were drawn to the nursing shortage and its overall impact on the healthcare of individuals and communities. In early 2006, they established the Jonas Center, a first-of-its-kind philanthropic program dedicated to advancing the nursing profession. The Center’s focus is to improve healthcare through nursing leadership, scholarship and research.

The impact of the Center has grown exponentially. In 2016, the Jonas Center celebrated its 10th anniversary reaching a milestone of 1,000 Jonas Scholars supported by the Center. As the nation’s leading philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education, the Jonas Center has grown from a New York City-focused funder to a national organization in partnership with leading schools of nursing in 50 states.

“Over the last decade, we have brought together numerous foundations and organizations with a shared vision to support our nation’s nurses, and the results of those collaborations have far exceeded what we ever thought we could achieve,” Donald Jonas said during the anniversary celebration. “But the more we accomplish, the better we understand how much more must be done, so we must work together now to ensure we have enough nurses for tomorrow.”

The Jonas Scholars program has had a significant impact on students of Frontier Nursing University. Two members of the 2012-2014 cohort received $30,000 in scholarship support, four members of the 2014-16 cohort of students received $50,000 in scholarship support, and four more students in the 2016-18 cohort are receiving $70,000 in scholarship awards. That’s a total of $150,000 impacting ten FNU students.

“Every day we are struck by the far-reaching impact of what we thought 10 years ago was a small idea,” said Barbara Jonas. “Our Scholars and partners are part of our family and we are proud of what they’ve achieved to date and the heights we know they will reach in decades to come.”


About Frontier Nursing University:

The mission of FNU is to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations. FNU offers graduate Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner distance education programs that can be pursued full- or part-time with the student’s home community serving as the classroom. Degrees and options offered include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Graduate Certificates. To learn more about FNU and the programs and degrees offered, please visit