nursing room pic

By Cate Casey-Lane

The morning of Monday, November 4 proved to be a bittersweet one on the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) campus.

The dedication of the Jennifer McDonald Nursing Room, located in the ground floor of the Wilkins Library, brought both joy and sorrow to those in attendance. President Cox, Vice President Rodriguez, Vice President Kopecky and Dean Preston were among the administrators who attended the dedication of the lactation room along with Nursing faculty, staff and current nursing students. But the most touching attendees included Jennifer’s mother, Patricia King of Sandwich, friends of Jennifer’s and graduates of the Nursing Class of 2019.

Jennifer would have graduated with the Class of 2019, but she died unexpectedly in the summer between her first and second year in the Nursing Program here at 4Cs. Jennifer was born on September 17, 1968 in Burlington, Vermont. She graduated with honors from the Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1987 and attended the University of Vermont from 1987 to 1991. During that time, she worked as a Senate Page for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Jennifer was also an avid skier and taught skiing for several seasons at Sugarbush Valley Ski Area. She loved her role as the skiing “Sugarbear” for the children. For the last eight years of her short life, Jennifer took great pleasure in mentoring adults with developmental disabilities.

Jennifer was a gentle soul and although she did not have children of her own, you would never know by her approach to both mothers and babies during her maternity rotation. Her patients loved her and even shared that she would be a great nurse someday. She brought tremendous joy and a wonderful sense of humor to all who knew her.

The newly renovated lactation room is a comfortable environment for students, faculty and staff to use. With homelike furniture and decorations, new mothers have an exceptional space to use for pumping for their babies.

Jennifer’s kindness was evident in all her interactions with fellow students, faculty and staff. Her legacy will live on at Cape Cod Community College. In her honor, the Nursing Club is overjoyed to dedicate the lactation room as the Jennifer Memorial Nursing room.