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CFCC Announces Major Gift Supporting Nursing Students

Fraley Johnson - Saklad Fellowship Recipient

Fraley Johnson expresses her gratitude as the recipient of the Sheila M. Saklad Fellowship.

WILMINGTON, NC — Cape Fear Community College is pleased to announce a significant expansion of support for CFCC’s nursing program and its students through the leadership gift of Dan Saklad, in memory of his wife, Sheila. Gifts to both the Cape Fear Community College Foundation and NHRMC Foundation ($400,000 in total) will support two major initiatives.

The Sheila M. Saklad Accelerated Nursing Fellowship will support students in CFCC’s Accelerated LPN to RN program, allowing seasoned licensed practical nurses to gain the education needed to attain registered nursing licensure in only two semesters. This fellowship provides funding for all educational expenses (tuition, books, supplies), a brand-new laptop, a living stipend of 12 hours per week, plus professional tutoring, career counseling, and alumni mentorship.

CFCC President Jim Morton and Novant President Shelbourn Stevens with CFCC LPN-RN students

CFCC President Jim Morton and Novant President Shelbourn Stevens with CFCC LPN-RN students

Fraley Johnson is the first Saklad Fellow and received her award on Thursday.

“Not only will I be able to give back to the community myself, but I will show my children and other children around that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” said Fraley. “Not many people are able to go through one nursing program successfully with children, but [I will] show others who are battling with doubt that there is no limit to your success and the number of goals you can reach.” 

Through the Upward Mobility RN Scholarship, NHRMC Novant employees obtaining their education at CFCC will receive up to two years of full tuition coverage for their licensing program; a flexible reduced schedule at the same rate of pay and benefits in order to dedicate time to their studies; and monthly meetings with a nurse mentor and career coach.

“This wonderful gift will provide financial support to CFCC students who plan to dedicate their lives to the service of others through nursing,” said CFCC President Jim Morton. “We are also honored to help qualifying New Hanover Regional Medical Center employees expand their career opportunities through the Upward Mobility RN Scholarship. We know this generous donation will impact our region in countless ways in the years to come. The tremendous support of Mr. Saklad through this tribute to his beloved wife Sheila will help to remove financial barriers for students training for impactful and essential careers in our community.”

CFCC’s nursing programs are continually ranked among the best in North Carolina. Most CFCC nursing graduates stay in the Cape Fear region, with New Hanover Regional Medical Center employing approximately 60 CFCC nursing graduates each year.

“We are so grateful for Mr. Saklad’s generosity and support of our LPN to RN program,” said Mary Ellen Naylor, Dean of Health and Human Services at CFCC. “The fellowship will allow students to focus on being successful in the program and provide relief and support for the many day-to-day circumstances that can impede a student’s success. This is an amazing gift, and we are so thankful for Mr. Saklad’s support of CFCC students.”

At a time when nurses are needed more than ever, Saklad’s gift will ensure 18 new nurses enter the profession and serve the local community in the coming years.

“I am both very honored and emotional to donate to CFCC and our hospital in memory of Sheila, my very best friend for 56 years,” said Saklad. “God Bless Sheila and all those who will benefit from her Fellowship.”

Support the Sheila M. Saklad Fellowship

For more information on ways to support CFCC’s students through the Cape Fear Community College Foundation, visit www.WeAreCapeFear.com or call 910-362-7866 .

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