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Oct. 5, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 3

Former Connell School Administrator Donelan Dies

Susan Donelan, former assistant dean for administration in the Connell School of Nursing, died on Sunday, Oct. 1, after a long battle with cancer. She was 51.

Ms. Donelan, who joined the University in 1987, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She learned a year later that the disease had metastasized to her liver, and in the fall of 2004 took a leave from CSON.

Interviewed by Chronicle shortly before her departure that year, Ms. Donelan discussed her determination to lead an active life in spite of cancer, and spoke of the love and support she had received from her BC colleagues.

"At first I was angry," she said, "but like any problem you face in life, you deal with it. Sometimes all you can control is your attitude."

Ms. Donelan had cited her nephew's battle with cancer some years before as an important factor in her understanding of her own life. In October of 2004, she wrote a letter to her colleagues and friends describing her experiences and her feelings about the struggle ahead of her.

"I truly love my husband, my family, my friends and colleagues and I feel your love and concern back for me every day. I can never adequately express how much this means to me. Some people live to be 100 years and they don't have a fraction of the happiness and contentment I have experienced.

"...I've been thinking quite a lot about what life after death might be like and I do not fear it. I'm convinced that what we are experiencing now on earth, as glorious as it can be, is really just the tip of the iceberg of what we will ultimately experience. I think we go on to a higher, more amazing plane of existence. We also live on in the minds and hearts of those who have loved us."

Ms. Donelan is survived by her husband, Jim Boggs, and parents Mr. and Mrs. William C. Donelan.

A celebration of her life is planned for a later date on campus.

-Office of Public Affairs

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