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Friday, January 11, 2019


BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has received a $600,000 gift from the estate of Wesleah Blair of Bradford to establish a new scholarship for nursing students.

Blair died last year in Bradford at the age of 92. A 1943 graduate of Bradford Senior High School, she worked an amazing 65 years – first as the office supervisor of Rich & Co. Inc. for 27 years, then as the general manager of Herzog Oil Field Service for 38 years, retiring in 2008.

In 1956, she married U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James D. Blair, who had served part of his time in the military in Europe, where he became very ill.

Attorney Mark Hollenbeck was a friend of Blair’s and helped set up her estate plan. “Mr. Blair died very young and needed a lot of care,” he said. “I think Wesleah always appreciated the compassion and quality of life that the nurses who were around brought to him.

“I think that’s why she wanted to create this nursing scholarship. What she envisioned was helping someone who wouldn’t be able to pursue a nursing degree without this scholarship.”

Dr. Tammy Haley, assistant professor of nursing and director of the program, said, “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Mrs. Blair. The idea that her personal experience with nursing care was the impetus for her choice to help provide educational opportunities for nursing students makes this gift really special and proves the adage that kindness begets kindness.”

The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2019-20 academic year.

To learn more about establishing a scholarship at Pitt-Bradford or contributing through an estate, contact Jill Dunn, executive director of institutional advancement at 814-362-5091 or

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