LEWISTON NY – On April 18th Niagara University hosted a ceremony to announce the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare. The gracious gift of $4.1 million dollars was donated to Niagara University by Ostapenko, a German native who moved to America in the 1930s. She received her doctorate from Niagara University in 1986 and is now a philanthropist whose philanthropy is driven by education, religion, and health.
The Ostapenko Center provides Niagara University students with the opportunity to investigate the ethical challenges that they would face in their field. Students can also conduct research projects, organize various events, and participate in extracurricular. Dr. James Delany known as the chairman of Professional Ethics will be the director to the Ostapenko center. Not only do students benefit from this project but faculty benefits from it as well, because Faculty members will be able to conduct research projects. This center will also be able to host guest speakers, conferences and panel discussions all in hopes of promoting and discuss ethical issues in medicine.
Many guest speakers spoke at the ceremony, including the President of the University Rev. James J. Mahar. His heartfelt speech showed gratitude on behalf of the University and it described that this center is more than just a building, he said “Charging our students and faculty with an imperative to examine ethical issues as they pertain to global healthcare and medicine is Catholic and Vincentian at its core, as those who are most vulnerable are often neglected these human necessities,”
Ostapenko was an entrepreneur and she was introduced to Niagara University in 1951 by NU alumnus Jim Keenan, and developed a friendship with the Rev. Francis X, who served as NU’s vice president for institutional advancement. Ostapenko received an honorary doctorate from Niagara in 1986. Ostapenko passed away in 2014, and a portion of her estate was designated to support Niagara University.