SALISBURY — Wor-Wic Community College recently renamed its Academic and Administrative Building as Brunkhorst Hall in honor of the late Lois E. Brunkhorst, RN, of Berlin, in recognition of her lifetime of giving and significant bequest.
Dr. Ray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic, made the building renaming announcement at a donor recognition reception attended by more than 100 donors.
Hoy told the crowd that renaming the building as Brunkhorst Hall commemorates the contributions the woman made during her years as a friend of Wor-Wic.
“Lois worked as a school nurse in Neptune, N.J., for 33 years before retiring and moving to Berlin in 1993,” Hoy said. He explained that almost immediately after relocating to the Lower Eastern Shore, Lois reached out to Wor-Wic to create a scholarship fund to help nursing students with financial need.
“Lois increased her level and scope of giving to Wor-Wic over the years,” added Hoy, “living frugally so that she could help the college fulfill its mission and see its students succeed. She considered Wor-Wic part of her family and sacrificed much to leave a significant bequest.”
Director of Development Janice Murphy added, “I know I could never live up to her standard of self-denial. She remains the ultimate example of frugality.”
But it was frugality with a purpose, Murphy explained.
“While she was not rich, Lois’s goal was to leave as much money as possible to Wor-Wic and she sacrificed daily to do so,” Murphy said. “In the end, she achieved her goal, directing more than $1 million to the Wor-Wic Foundation. We hope that the renaming of this building will serve as a reminder to our students — and to all of us — that each one of us is capable of great things.”
Susan Stewart, a 1994 Lois Brunkhorst scholarship recipient, told the audience what being one of the first recipients of this scholarship meant to her as a nursing student. In the thank you letter she sent more than 20 years ago, Stewart wrote, “I was working three jobs to make ends meet while I was in my first year of the nursing program. The second year class schedule would be twice as many credit hours, and I knew I would have to give up one of my jobs, just to attend the extra hours. I felt that I would have to drop out of the program because, without the extra income, I would not be able to support myself and my children.”
Stewart earned her associate degree in nursing in 1995, which allowed her to move up to her dream job as a nurse in the operating room at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. After a 20-year career as a surgical and critical care nurse at area health care facilities, she recently retired from the Chesapeake Surgery Center.
The newly-named Brunkhorst Hall was the first building constructed when Wor-Wic transitioned from a “college without walls” to a campus in 1994.