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Early Nursing Grad Gives to Help the Mount Succeed

Alison MacDonald Riggs

Alison MacDonald Riggs '56

Alison MacDonald Riggs '56 first heard about Mount Saint Mary's University while attending high school at St. Mary's Academy in Los Angeles where the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet introduced Alison and her parents to the Mount and its nursing program.

Riggs states, "I was fortunate to graduate from the very first bachelor of science in nursing program offered in California, established by Sister Rebecca Doan in 1948 at the Mount. I received a solid educational foundation on which to build my nursing career." She fondly remembers that her "class was small and cohesive, and in many ways we were pioneers as this was a new way to educate nurses." After earning a master's degree in nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, Riggs enjoyed over three decades as a nurse and later became a nursing teacher at Mount San Antonio College (MtSAC).

Alison MacDonald RiggsWhen asked what inspires her to give, she says, "the commitment to try to consistently improve educational quality and the focus on service to others and to the community." Riggs remains active in the community as an MSMU regional volunteer in northern California helping to coordinate events in her area such as the annual President's Invitation to Serve and the Student Send-off.

As a longtime Mount supporter, Alison felt the next natural step was to include the Mount in her estate plans. She says, "I want the University to succeed and become increasingly acknowledged for the caliber of its Catholic education, and in particular I am excited about the Wellness Pavilion and its future programs. It is important for students to focus on a healthy life, which should help them succeed in their studies and in life."