Millikin University’s Nursing Simulation Lab receives a major gift

The School of Nursing facility receives a sizable donation from former Nursing student

Nursing Simulation Lab

DECATUR – The Millikin University Nursing Simulation Lab project has received a substantial gift from former School of Nursing student M. Susan Ires Campbell ‘68. The gift will support naming the new facility the Campbell Family Nursing Simulation Lab.

“I continue my interest in everything that Millikin does, and my family remains involved through the years,” Campbell said. “I’m excited to follow the project and do whatever I can to help it to completion.”

The lab is in Phase I of a three-phase construction project and timeline. The project also recently received a $2 million federal grant towards the estimated $4 million total cost of the project. Funds will be used to construct the state-of-the-art simulation lab, including four simulation rooms, supporting control rooms, two debriefing rooms, a health assessment lab, and several faculty offices.

The Campbells
Michael & Susan Campbell

Sue, and her late husband, R. Michael Campbell ‘67, have been very active and generous Millikin alumni and were the co-recipients of the 2016 Alumnus of the Year award, the highest alumni award presented by the University.

“Sue Campbell’s incredible generosity in support of Millikin’s nursing program is a fitting legacy for the Campbell family.  Simulation labs with advanced technologies are becoming an integral part of a nursing student’s education,” Millikin Vice President for Alumni & Development Gina Bianchi said. “Sue’s gift will allow us to invest in and maintain simulation programs and life-like mannequins, making the Campbell Family Nursing Simulation lab a game-changer for Millikin’s nursing students and faculty.”
Sue, who also completed a degree in nursing from Harper College, worked as a nurse at Northwest Community Hospital and later as an obstetrics and gynecology office nurse. In 2000, she retired from nursing after completing 10 years of triage nursing for a medical group in Arlington Heights.

Mike completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Millikin. In 1969, he earned an MBA at Northern Illinois University and later received NIU's 1973 Graduate Honors Award for the College of Business. Mike also served on the Millikin Board of Trustees for nine years.

“Millikin gave me confidence and encouraged my love of nursing. My instructors had such positivity, and it has continued to be a rewarding program,” Sue Campbell said. “I continue my support of the Nursing Program, which has always had an excellent reputation. This will expand it exponentially over the years.”

Nursing Student

The Campbell Nursing Simulation Lab will enhance underutilized building space on the corners of Oakland and Wood Streets in Decatur and be dedicated to clinical and simulation laboratories, classrooms and faculty offices.

Sue believes that if she could have utilized a simulation lab while studying at Millikin, it would have helped her nursing studies immensely.

“As the equipment is so different today, the Nursing Lab will provide much-needed practice and experience,” Sue said. “Even though in a simulation lab, you’re not helping a real patient, it serves a great purpose in the learning experience.”

Nursing Simulation Lab Design
Plans for the upcoming Campbell Family Nursing Simulation Lab. 

Phase I of the project is student-focused and will provide spaces for students to study and practice their nursing skills as the lab is constructed on the first floor of West Towne Square. Phase II will add offices on the second floor of West Town Square and Phase III will outfit the second floor of the space formerly used for the Millikin Institute with two classrooms and various offices.

“Supporting Millikin means a great deal because I think Millikin has contributed to the Decatur community and adds a cultural aspect to living in Decatur,” Sue Campbell said. “I think Millikin has received much support back from the residents of Decatur.”

Mike and Sue have two daughters, Sara Campbell and Alison Campbell, and five grandchildren.

About Millikin University

Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features Performance Learning, a unique learning approach offered only at Millikin that gives students the chance to build the confidence and skills to succeed before and after graduation. Millikin graduates enter the job market armed with experience and ready for success. In 2022, 99% of graduates gained employment or entry to graduate or professional schools within six months of graduation, compared to the 71% national average. Millikin offers more than 50 majors in the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business, and is located on a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Ill.

For further media information, please contact Millikin University Public Relations Coordinator Matthew Flaten at 217.420.6636 or