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Inspired to Give Back

Petros make gift to nursing, Indoor Athletics Facility

Richard and Rita Petro

From Foundation Focus - Summer 2018

Richard Petro was reaching as far as he could to cut one more sprig from a bush before he would have to move his ladder. That final reach was too much. He fell to the concrete surrounding his front porch.

“I ended up in a heap on the sidewalk at the bottom of the bush,” he said.

Several weeks of recovery, surgery and rehabilitation followed. Healthy now and back home in his retirement community in Georgetown, Texas, he and his wife, Rita, were inspired to give back to a field that helped him.

“I got really well acquainted with several of the nurses,” Richard said. “I was impressed with their dedication, and I thought that was a great thing. We knew Washburn had a nursing program, and we thought, well, maybe we can help them out in some manner.”

They made a gift to create and endow the Richard and Rita Petro Nursing Scholarship Fund.

“Having five grandkids, two in college, we know there are many financial requirements for them, and scholarships are very helpful,” he said. “We thought it would be nice to make that possible for some people in the future.”

Richard’s family is tied to the building that houses the School of Nursing and the Athletics Department. His parents, Edna, ba ’19, and Kelsey Petro, made gifts to Washburn for the building that would bear their name when it opened in 1983.

While Petro Allied Health Center will continue giving Washburn a home-court advantage in basketball and volleyball, he and Rita are ready to invest in a new building. In addition to the nursing scholarship, they recently made a gift to the Indoor Athletics Facility that will provide top-rated training spaces for generations of student-athletes to come.

“Rita and I were impressed with the features that will go into that building and what it will provide for the whole athletic program,” he said. “So we decided we would get on board and make a gift”

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