Passionate About Fighting Hunger
Meet Jane. Jane Nuckolls was described by many that knew her as one of the most compassionate people they've ever met.
"She never said no," says Robin Roach, Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Nutrition program at the University of Memphis. For 14 years, Jane served as System Director of Nutrition Therapy at Methodist University Hospital.
"She was always available for our students in the dietetics program. I would call her and say I have 15 students, is there any way they can do their internships with your staff?" Robin says. "She would always say, ‘Sure! Let's set that up.'"
Jane's passion for nutrition and education coupled with her intense desire to end hunger issues in our city led to a remarkable legacy rooted deeply in philanthropy and public service. Robin and Jane worked side by side as dietary professionals. They would often casually speak to each other at networking events and soon began serving on several committees together. Naturally, the two developed a professional friendship. After Jane's passing in September 2015, she left an unexpected gift to the University of Memphis.
Jane was born in Jackson, Tennessee but spent most of her life in Shelby County. After receiving her bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and her master's degree from the University of Mississippi, she began her career in nutrition. As the years went by, Jane developed a keen interest in Environmental Nutrition.
"She had a real heart for the poor and had a real heart for the hungry and didn't understand why that existed, especially in Shelby County," Robin says.
Jane worked with several initiatives that focused on addressing food insecurities across our region. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Mid-South Food Bank, she chaired the Nutrition Education and Advocacy committee, which focused on educating community members to further the organization's mission.
During this time, Robin was beginning to form a new degree program at the University of Memphis that would educate students who were interested in similar causes as Jane. Together, Jane and Robin began to brainstorm ideas that would set the foundation for the Master's program with a concentration in Environmental Nutrition. Jane's intimate knowledge and passion about environmental nutrition, an area that was largely unexplored until recently, helped Robin create a program that would successfully educate dietary professionals in the emerging needs surrounding nutrition and our environment.
Environmental Nutrition examines the relationships between food, nutrition and the environment while spotlighting issues related to food sustainability, traditional food practices and food justice. The Master's degree in Environmental Nutrition is a fully online program that is one of the first of its kind in the nation.
In early 2015, Jane received a sudden terminal cancer diagnosis. While she focused on bravely fighting cancer, Jane did not stop envisioning a community without hunger. In her final days of life, she created a living trust to distribute the money she would leave behind. She shared her wishes with her sister Judy Nuckolls to ultimately fulfill them.
"I believe that if we provide resources that will educate and allow us to understand the problem better, we will be able to have a significant impact in the fight against hunger," Jane noted in her living trust.
Through the Jane Nuckolls Grant to Fight Hunger, Jane directed four grants to organizations she believed could impact hunger in Memphis. Her intimate relationship during the development of the program led to Jane establishing the Jane Nuckolls Endowed Scholarship in Environmental Nutrition at the University of Memphis.
Richard Bloomer, Professor and Director of Health Studies at the University of Memphis, describes the incredible opportunity this scholarship presents to the program and its students. "To have a scholarship like this in a new program is a wonderful opportunity to help us attract students from around the world," he says. "These students go on to implement what they've learned to benefit their entire communities."
This fall will be the first time the scholarship will be awarded. Recipient Kristyn Polucha, a student from Florida, says she is so thankful to be awarded this scholarship, which will help further her interest and education in Nutrition.
"I applied for the Masters of Science in Environmental Nutrition program because I am very passionate about health, wellness, and an equal opportunity for all communities to experience the benefits of eating healthy," Kristyn says. "There is a huge gap between eating healthy and affordability, and I am on a mission to close that gap so that everyone can eat and enjoy good, healthy food."
To learn how you, too, can make a lasting impact on students’ lives, please contact Dan H. Murrell, CFRE at 901-678-2732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
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an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan
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able to be changed or cancelled
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cannot be changed or cancelled
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