Changing Lives, One Dream at a Time

NSU's Deborah Mulligan uses changing lives scholarship to change lives one dream at a time.

Deborah Ann Mulligan, M.D., remembers a time when she and her three sisters shared all of their belongings to help her save money to pay for medical school. Her father, a disabled war veteran and son of Irish/German immigrants, had set clear educational expectations for his family. With her mother, a child of Italian immigrants, he worked and helped raise five children while still making time to attend school in the evenings. If he could do it, so could they.

Mulligan’s story is relatable to many – a family travels to America to live the American Dream. Her tale includes a supportive cast of family members who worked together to make their dreams come true. Now she, and her four siblings (including a brother), all have advanced degrees. Among them are a doctor, a lawyer, a pediatric nurse practitioner, a major motion film editor, and a farm owner.

"Being a first-generation college graduate, I understand and appreciate the positive impact that earning a college degree can have on your life and the lives of your family members,” Mulligan said. That’s why she has created a Changing Lives Scholarship in the names of two of her daughters, both NSU graduates.

As a professor of pediatrics at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mulligan finds joy in the dynamic exchanges that take place in her classroom. She also believes that it is important to support programs that create professional leaders.

“Being a donor is a way to give back to higher education with what I have so generously received, with the goal of sharing the benefits with others. The sustainability of our institution and the success of our students cannot be left to the determinants of external influences. Being part of a collective gift-giving effort makes it possible to reach even more people with the resources and experiences that will make a difference in their lives.”

A donor can name a Changing Lives Scholarship with a gift of $1,000 each year for five years. Please contact to find out more.