Category: Alumni Stories, Giving News

Title:Mary Byrne Welch (NHS’97, G’99): “My Georgetown education unlocked a lot of possibilities”

Mary Byrne Welch
Mary and her family at her graduation, 1997.

What is your name, Georgetown school, and graduation year?*

My name is Mary Byrne Welch. I earned two degrees from Georgetown: B.S. from the School of Nursing in 1997 and M.S. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1999.

Tell us about one of your favorite Georgetown memories.

Graduation in 1997 was amazing. My sister, Eileen Byrne May (NHS’97, G’99), and I graduated together, both earning our B.S. degrees in nursing. Our parents and brother were present and were filled with pride for us on that happy day.

Did you find your calling at Georgetown?

My love of oncology grew at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center while working as part of the Bone Marrow Transplant unit. I have dedicated my nursing career to the care of women facing both breast and gynecologic cancers. Now I have shifted to cancer prevention by helping women overcome obesity so that they can reach their ideal healthy weight and lower their cancer risk.

What is your hope for Georgetown’s future?

I hope that Georgetown continues to support and supplement education for those that require assistance so that financial need is not a barrier to quality education. 

You have made gifts for many years, primarily to the former School of Nursing & Health Studies. Why do you consistently give to Georgetown?

I support Georgetown because I was fortunate to attend Georgetown for free as part of the hospital employee tuition program. I worked full time as a R.N. on the bone marrow transplant unit as I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Now I am an oncology nurse practitioner focusing on gynecologic oncology patients and I coach cancer survivors to reset their metabolic health and release weight after cancer treatment. Without the educational benefit I received from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, I might still be an associate degree nurse working at the bedside. My Georgetown education unlocked a lot of possibilities for me and I am grateful. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Georgetown and made friends for life.

Is there anything else you want to share about your relationship with Georgetown?

I made so many great friends during my time at Georgetown and love when I get to connect with them in person.  My six years at Georgetown certainly make the highlight reel of my life. 

Make a gift to Georgetown’s School of Nursing.

Mary and her sister at The Tombs, 2019.