Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Betty and Glen Broom enjoyed long and distinguished careers at SDSU before retiring more than a decade ago. (Photo: David Friend) Betty and Glen Broom enjoyed long and distinguished careers at SDSU before retiring more than a decade ago. (Photo: David Friend)
 


SDSU’s Power Couple

Glen and Betty Broom’s campaign gift advances faculty research.
By Coleen L. Geraghty
 

“The contributions of so many faculty and staff, including Glen and Betty Broom, have forever changed the course and trajectory of our university.”

Glen and Betty Broom were among the faculty who helped transform San Diego State University in the 1980s. Now they are part of a second transformation through their gift to The Campaign for SDSU.
 
The Brooms number among the many faculty and staff who have made planned gifts to support the colleges or divisions where they’ve worked for decades. In Glen’s case, that’s the School of Journalism and Media Studies in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. For Betty, it is the School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services.

To date, faculty and staff have contributed $78 million to The Campaign for SDSU—more than 10 percent of total gifts.

“Our faculty and staff know the university best, and they have sent a powerful message through their donations to The Campaign for SDSU,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “The contributions of so many faculty and staff, including Glen and Betty Broom, have forever changed the course and trajectory of our university.”

From the snow to the sun

Glen and Betty were high school sweethearts. After marrying, they lived in Champaign, Illinois, and Chicago before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, where Glen earned his Ph.D. in mass communication and Betty earned her M.S. in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Glen was on the UW faculty and Betty was teaching nursing in Madison when SDSU recruited Glen to head the public relations program in the Department of Journalism, as it was known then.

The year was 1979—a time of change and growth at SDSU under President Emeritus Thomas Day. A desire to “reconfigure” the university into a research institution inspired new, like-minded faculty, Glen recalled. He speaks fondly of the support and mentoring he received during his SDSU years from faculty such as Lee Brown, Barbara Hartung, Jim Cobble, Nick Genovese, Jane Smith and many other colleagues and staff.

At the same time, Betty and other faculty in the School of Nursing, with the encouragement of school director Dolores Wozniak, earned doctoral degrees in nursing research as part of an effort to strengthen the Ph.D. faculty cadre in the school. When Betty pursued her doctorate at the University of Texas-Austin, Glen became a visiting professor there.

The Brooms enjoyed long and distinguished careers at SDSU before retiring more than a decade ago.  Betty taught physical assessment and was the course coordinator for Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family in the undergraduate nursing program and Physiology of Pregnancy in the midwifery master’s program. She also helped develop and taught Women’s Health Across the Lifespan, a general education course. She has written research articles for scholarly publications and is co-author of the eighth and ninth editions of “Ingalls & Salerno's Maternal and Child Health Nursing.”

Glen is co-author or author of the sixth through 11th editions of “Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations,” the field’s leading textbook since 1952. School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) director Bey-Ling Sha is co-author of the 11th edition. Glen is also co-author with JMS professor emeritus David Dozier of “Using Research in Public Relations” and author or co-author of more than 50 other book chapters, journal articles and scholarly convention papers.

“SDSU’s teacher-scholar model fit us perfectly,” Glen said. “The balance between teaching, research and service was for us what statisticians call ‘a goodness of fit.’”

“We were doing what we wanted to do,” Betty added. “We had great careers at SDSU so it seems only fitting to give back.”

Research mission

The Brooms’ planned gift to SDSU is an extension of their commitment to the university’s research mission. Since she knows first-hand the difficulty of balancing a heavy clinical teaching load with research and service requirements, Betty has directed a portion of the gift to establish the Betty Broom Faculty Research Fund to support faculty research and related travel in the School of Nursing, particularly for tenure-track faculty.

"This gift will ensure that the SDSU School of Nursing faculty has the support needed to continue Betty's mission of providing a scholarly education balanced with the personal touch of hands-on mentoring and training that she exemplified," said former student Denise Gershwin, ('98, '03), a nurse midwife with a master's degree and state certification.

"It reflects her passion for educating aspiring nurses so that they not only learn the skills and knowledge needed in their roles, but also understand how to use scholarly research throughout their careers to provide the highest quality care possible."

A second portion of the bequest advances the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations, established in 2013 by the Brooms’ first campaign gift. The Broom Center supports professional development for students through internships; for faculty through research funding; and for public relations practitioners through seminars, workshops, international scholar exchanges and similar activities.

Scott Allison, ('86), chair and CEO of the firm Allison + Partners, was a student of Glen’s who has supported the Broom Center through The Campaign for SDSU.

“Glen Broom is an icon at SDSU and throughout the international public relation’s profession,” he said. “It’s impossible to quantify the many people he has assisted and inspired during his career.  It’s certainly not a surprise to see him giving back even after his retirement.”