Why We Give Back: Marietta ’80 & Michael ’82 Borinski

Emma Irving '18
Marietta and Mike Borinki pose for a photo in Founders Hall outside of a newly dedicated simulation lab.
Marietta '80 and Mike '82 Borinski at the dedication of the Anna Mosco and Marietta Borinski '80 Simulation Laboratory in the School of Nursing in April 2024.

The threads that tie Mike ’82 and Marietta ’80 Borinski back to Widener begin with a few brief meetings—at a fraternity party in 1978 and later carpooling on some errands down MacDade Boulevard with friends—but have since grown into a rich bond with each other and the university.

Marietta began her nursing education at King’s College and transferred to Widener in 1978 with her five best friends to complete her training in the School of Nursing.

I was only at Widener for two years, but that time was crucial in my understanding of how important my work as a nurse was going to be. When I graduated, I felt prepared and well-equipped to handle whatever this career would be throwing at me.” —Marietta Borinski '80

In 1978, Mike was also arriving at Widener as a first-year accounting major. He recalls the sight of Marietta’s waist-length hair at that first-weekend fraternity party, but the pair never dated in college. They remained in friendly orbit with each other until 1989 when they got together, and the rest is history.

The Borinskis get in on the Widener football action on the field at homecoming.

As students, the Borinskis experienced a university that was rapidly changing and expanding. In the 1970s, Pennsylvania Military College (PMC) became Widener College and then Widener University. Nursing arrived at Widener in that decade and quickly became a preeminent program. Marietta felt she received a high-quality education and graduated with a diploma that carried great prestige in the job market, but that competition in school was fierce.

Mike’s experience in the business school was more of camaraderie than competition. That comes with the nature of the industry, Mike notes, but he really enjoyed collaborating with classmates and taking initiative to build something from the ground up. After graduation, he joined his company’s recruiting team and made it a point to come back to Widener and mentor students in the job hunt.

That was a great opportunity to be a conduit to expose Widener students to my firm and to life after college. We had so many shared experiences at Widener and were able to grow a network that came to establish Widener’s School of Business Administration as a top-tier program.” —Mike Borinski '82

After they started dating, Mike became a conduit to reconnect Marietta with the Widener community, too.

Marietta, Mike, and fellow alum Terry McKissick celebrate the School of Nursing 50 anniversary event in 2019. 

“I’m so happy that the culture of the nursing program is built around support and mentorship now,” Marietta reflected.

Mike never left the Widener universe and joined the Alumni Association along with becoming a founding member of the School of Management Alumni Chapter. He says that as part of one of the first generations of Widener graduates who weren’t affiliated with PMC, there was great need and opportunity to create new ways for alumni to get and stay involved with Widener.

Now, the Borinskis are synonymous with Widener alumni generosity. The couple have supported strategic initiatives and scholarships for years, and in fall 2023, two new spaces in the nursing simulation center opened thanks in great part to funding from the Borinskis. Recently, these spaces were dedicated as the new Anna Mosco and Marietta Borinski ’80 Simulation Laboratory, in honor of Marietta and her late mother’s dedication to their profession.

“I thought it was time for me to give back what Widener gave to me,” Marietta said. Adding that her mother got her nursing education in a time before stethoscopes were widely used, Marietta knew she wanted her gift to Widener nurses to be a hands-on learning tool that truly prepared them for bedside nursing.

The Anna Mosco and Marietta Borinski '80 Simulation Laboratory brings cutting-edge technology, like simulated and virtual reality, to the nursing program enabling students to excel in clinical practice.

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“I’m amazed walking into this lab by just how much our students can learn here,” she added. “Practicing real-life situations with sim mannequins and supportive faculty around sets nurses up for success in a way my mom and I never dreamed of when we were in school.”

Giving back, then, is a way of paying respect to the people who paved the way and doing some of that paving for the next generation, too. From fraternity houses to simulation labs, the Borinskis have certainly already made their mark. 

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