Former Notre Dame Coach Helps Raise Money for Pitt Nursing Oncology Chair Fund

By: Kelly Flanigan

Hall of Fame college football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz served as the keynote speaker at a fundraising reception and dinner at the Oakmont Country Club to benefit the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing through the Nancy Glunt Hoffman Memorial Fund.

Nearly 250 people attended the June event to hear Holtz, who is most famous for his 10-year tenure as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. Holtz shared his thoughts on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting individual goals and working to achieve them. 

Holtz is no stranger to suffering caused by cancer. Through the experiences of his wife Beth, whom he cites as his hero, he understands the importance of having capable and compassionate oncology nursing staff. In 1999, Beth was diagnosed with stage-four throat cancer, and she eventually had 13 hours of surgery and 83 radiation treatments. She and her husband currently live in Florida. 

J. Roger Glunt, alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh and emeritus trustee, is the driving force behind the Nancy Glunt Hoffman Memorial Fund. He has been a supporter of the Pitt School of Nursing since 1997, when the Pitt Board of Trustees assigned him to help the school achieve its goal for the first capital campaign. Glunt established the fund in honor of his sister, who passed away from cancer in 2001. Nancy earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree at Pitt in 1962. 


The event raised more than $115,000, which will be used toward the establishment of an endowed chair in oncology nursing at the Pitt School of Nursing. The new chair will hold a dual appointment at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, facilitating the translation of the latest research to the bedside for state-of-the-art patient care. Through this position, the Pitt School of Nursing hopes to advance the practice of oncology nursing and simultaneously establish itself as a model for oncology nursing research.