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Irene E. Nordwich Foundation

A private foundation established by founder Irene Nordwich to provide financial awards to Nursing students at the University of Manitoba (UM) and University of Western Ontario (UWO).

The criteria for receiving awards - academic achievement, career goals and need – are based on the founder’s own experience in acquiring post-secondary education. Irene Nordwich grew up in Graudenz, Poland. Her plans for attending university were interrupted by WWII. Irene evacuated to West Germany and in 1948, a rural Manitoba family sponsored her to come to Canada as a ‘displaced person’. She learned English, secured a $200 student loan and gained admission to the Misericordia General Hospital (MGH) program for RNs. This was an attractive option at a time when nursing students received room, board and small stipend in return for providing much of the hospital’s labour. Within a year of graduation (1953), Irene discharged her student loan and arranged for her parents to come to Winnipeg. Continuing her studies, she earned a certificate in Teaching and Supervision from the U of M School of Nursing (1955) then, while teaching at MGH and the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) she took courses towards her BN (1966). Manitoba did not offer a Master’s in Nursing at the time so she continued her studies at the UWO (MscN, 1970). Irene then joined the faculty at the UM, where she remained until her retirement in 1990. In both academic and clinical areas, Professor Nordwich was known for her commitment to excellence and her high expectations for student performance. Caring for her elderly mother and other considerations meant that Irene could not personally pursue a doctoral degree, but she gained great satisfaction from seeing her students go on to further studies. A conference room in the College of Nursing, University of Manitoba was named in her honour.


  • Ina Bramadat, PhD
  • david Gregory, RN, PhD
  • Lynn Scruby, RN, PhD
  • Elden Wittmier, CLU, CHFC, CFP, RFP, TEP


Irene E. Nordwich Foundation
c/o Elden Wittmier, Sec.-Tres.,
1000 - 305 Broadway Ave.,
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 3J7

Established 2002.