Margaret Rueckert-Hartman honors Loretto Heights legacy with a new gift to build the next generation of health care professionals

It was the hilltop campus on South Federal Boulevard, beloved and recognized as Loretto Heights College, where Margaret Rueckert-Hartman attended college, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1967. Today, Margaret and many of her classmates remember the college — or the “Heights,” as it is more affectionately known — as a magical place, a tight-knit community of dedicated students, talented faculty and committed and visionary leaders.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Loretto Heights School of Nursing, which forever changed the landscape of nursing education in Colorado. The school was founded in 1946 by Sister Francis Marie Walsh, who served as the college’s eighth president, with the support of the administrators of St. Anthony Hospital in Denver and Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. In 1948, the school admitted its first students.
When Loretto Heights College closed in 1988, the nursing program and several other programs were brought over to Regis University. Dr. Patricia Ladewig served as the Loretto Heights College Director of Nursing and was instrumental in ensuring a successful transition to Regis, where she served in leadership roles as Dean and Provost. Sister Walsh and Dr. Ladewig are among the many leaders who served LHC and Regis with impeccable integrity and a heartfelt passion to educate the next generation of nursing professionals.
Over the past 75 years, the Loretto Heights School of Nursing’s programs have grown from the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to include an accelerated nursing bachelor’s, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and, most recently, a PhD in Nursing. Today recognized as a top nursing school in Colorado, the Loretto Heights School of Nursing graduates over 400 nursing students annually who are recognized for their knowledge, competence and compassionate care for the whole person.

For over three decades, Margaret Rueckert-Hartman and her husband Doyle Hartman have generously supported Regis University through gifts to the Loretto Heights School of Nursing, the library renovation and alumni and student emergency funds. They also support a number of scholarships.  
In 2003, the Hartmans pledged a $6.2 million gift to fund the renovation of Carroll Hall. In recognition of their gift, the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions was named in her honor. The gift marked the largest single donation to Regis from a Loretto Heights alumna.
In 2020, Margaret once again bestowed her generosity on Regis, providing essential funds to renovate and expand the clinical simulation laboratory with updated and state-of-the art technology and learning resources for health professions students. The expanded simulation lab provides a hands-on learning environment for students to practice inter-professionally and to learn with from other healthcare professions. This innovative approach creates the best possible outcomes for patients.
With a passion to relieve tuition debt for nursing students, Margaret recently provided a new gift of $375,000 as a challenge gift to inspire and encourage others to support the Loretto Heights School of Nursing Scholarship Fund.
“I wish to continue and strengthen the tradition of Regis University in providing students with a purpose-driven, Jesuit education, one that promotes the overall health and well-being of those we serve,” she says.
Established in 2019, the LHSON Scholarship provides financial assistance to students in the Loretto Heights School of Nursing who demonstrate commitment to community service and volunteer work in the area of healthcare for the common good. Margaret’s generous gift will establish an endowment that will provide nursing scholarships for many years to come.
Margaret’s philanthropic giving to Regis extends beyond financial gifts, as she has served two terms as a Trustee of the University. Margaret has served on the Spirit of Loretto Committee and in 2007 received the Loretto Heights College Distinguished Alumnus award. Margaret and Doyle have four adult children and reside in Dallas, but frequently travel to Denver to visit their children and grandchildren. As generous philanthropists, Margaret and Doyle support organizations that focus on food insecurity, strengthening children causes, the arts, health care and energy assistance. 
This year, Regis University celebrates 75 years of excellence in nursing education, 40 years at Loretto Heights College and 35 years at Regis University. On Sept. 23, the Regis community, including deans and faculty of the Rueckert-Hartman School of Healthcare Professions, will honor alumni and students and gather for a dinner reception in recognition of this shared history of nursing excellence. For more information or to register, please visit the Regis website.
To honor this milestone anniversary, 100% of registration for the dinner event will benefit the Loretto Heights School of Nursing Scholarship