How do you say “good-bye” to a daughter, a sister, a tireless co-worker and friend who lost her battle with cancer?
For the friends and family of Kaitlin Morelli ’09 SON, the answer is: you don’t.
Instead, you find a way to pay tribute to the boundless laughter, the courage and integrity, the wit, the sense of adventure and selfless compassion. The Kaitlin E. Morelli Endowed Scholarship in Nursing, established in 2017 by Kaitlin’s parents and brother, supports the aspirations of future nurses.
“We hope this scholarship will help other students realize their dream of becoming a nurse. We believe Kaitlin’s spirit will live on every time a nursing school graduate goes out into the world and shares their gifts and the skills they acquired in the nursing program.” (Statement Of Establishment, Kaitlin E. Morelli Endowed Scholarship in Nursing)
Kaitlin Morelli was known for her joy and love of life, her work ethic, her service, generosity and kindness. She was also described as strong and stubborn — helpful tools for life, as well as a career in nursing. Undeterred by early learning difficulties, Kaitlin refused to give up her dream of becoming a nurse; her acceptance to UNCG’s School of Nursing realized the first part of her vision. Kaitlin made the Chancellor’s List every semester until her 2009 graduation, and subsequent employment at Forsyth Memorial Hospital and later as the charge nurse in the IMC Unit at Baptist Hospital were fulfilling achievements. Kaitlin’s childhood dream of being a nurse — inspired by her maternal grandfather’s experiences as a battlefield medic — had come true. Even after her cancer diagnosis in 2014, Kaitlin made plans to continue her vocation.
The Morelli family’s ties to North Carolina and the Triad run deep. Kaitlin’s brother, Troy Joseph Morelli ‘15, is the master electrician for Triad Stage in Greensboro, implementing his BFA in drama-technical production. Kaitlin’s father, David Dominic Morelli, graduated from Guilford College and is the UNC Director of Football Business Operations. Her mother, Nana Eve Morelli, graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and is the office manager for Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church. At the age of 27, Kaitlin returned to the Chapel Hill home in which she grew up for her final days.
The Kaitlin E. Morelli Endowed Scholarship in Nursing honors a life filled with meaningful accomplishment, love and an awareness of the value of living. For those who share her vision, Kaitlin’s scholarship lights the way to achieving dreams at UNCG.
SoN Becomes Favorite Cause for the Fosters
Kathy and Wayne Foster didn’t set out to be philanthropists. But these days, the couple is helping make college affordable for new generations of students at the School of Nursing — and hoping to inspire new donors to follow in their footsteps.
Kathy BSN ’84, MSN ’92 and Wayne PhD ’01 discovered a passion for philanthropy early in their careers. In the 1990s, while still in their 30s, they established a scholarship fund for college-bound seniors at Page High School in Greensboro.
As Kathy became more involved with the School of Nursing’s Alumni Association, they started thinking about investing more substantially in the institution that had launched her career.
Wayne, meanwhile, deep into a career in speech-language pathology and audiology, was thinking about expanding his professional horizons. He enrolled in a doctoral program in child development at UNCG — and then received a stunning and happy surprise.
“We’d been saving money for me to go back to school,” he says, “and then I was really fortunate to receive a fellowship that paid for almost my entire doctoral program. I was so thankful to the university for that support. And I thought, “I can’t just not give back!”‘
So fifteen years ago, the couple created the Wayne A. and Kathryn S. Foster Scholarship to support SoN undergraduates with financial need. The scholarship recipients are often transitioning into a new career in nursing or earning the degree while raising a family. The Fosters enjoy meeting them each year at a luncheon and frequently mentor them as well.
But the Fosters’ commitment to UNCG doesn’t stop there. They served as well on the steering committee of the SoN’s Students First capital campaign and recently completed a three-year term on UNCG’s Board of Visitors. They have also designated a planned gift for the School of Nursing.
“The way Wayne and I are involved, making these contributions together, has been a very rewarding experience,” Kathy says.
For the Fosters, service to the university remains a top priority even as their careers have evolved. Kathy was recently promoted to director of the Family Medicine Center at Moses Cone H. Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, and Wayne works for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, where he directs a multi-million dollar grant project focused on transforming 16 high-needs schools.
“This is our university,” Wayne says. “It gave to us, now we’re giving back and that makes us part of the community. If you’re at the stage of your life where you’re ready to start giving back, this is a great opportunity.”