Nancy Hege Paar Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship Fund

Nancy Hege Paar, Class of ’59, with her husband, John Paar

In fulfillment of the terms of his wife’s will that a gift be made to the School of Nursing for scholarship assistance, Dr. John A. Paar established the Nancy Hege Paar Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship Fund. The fund will assist students with tuition, fees and other expenses associated with pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Nancy grew up on a small farm in Forsyth County, North Carolina. She was the valedictorian of her high school class while also working in a florist shop. She was able to attend the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing only because she received a scholarship from the School. Graduating in 1959, she became a member the School of Nursing’s fifth class of Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates.

Nancy had very fond memories of the School and stayed in contact with a number of her classmates. She used to recall that Dean Kemble had sternly lectured the nursing students always to eat to prevent fainting in the operating room or elsewhere. Unfortunately, Nancy fainted during the service at the Chapel of the Cross one Sunday when she skipped breakfast, and who should be there looking over her but the Dean.

Nancy met her future husband when she was working in the NC Memorial Hospital and John came to the hospital as an internal medicine intern. They were married in 1961 after a six-week engagement and went on to have three daughters. Nancy and John celebrated their 54th anniversary with family in March 2015.

Nancy was very socially conscious and an early advocate for organic gardening, recycling, and care of the earth. She and John were very involved with assistance to refugees from the wars in Central America in the 1980s and worked with many other organizations and causes over the years, both locally and abroad.

Nancy died of metastatic breast cancer on April 8, 2015. John says that he believes her gift was her way of passing on the opportunity that she had, with the hope that it would go to someone who otherwise might not be able to attend the School of Nursing.

“Nancy was very grateful for the opportunity she had to go to UNC, not only for her nursing education, but also for the university classes,” John says. “She remained a loyal graduate, even though she was married to a Duke man.”