Waldron “Wally” Lindblad, a resident of the Regency Pullman independent and assisted living community in Pullman, WA, has committed $1 million in part to try to improve senior living caregivers’ recognition and understanding of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The 92-year-old is making three gifts to the Washington State University College of Nursing that will support education and research:

  • A $100,000 donation in 2016 created the Janet S. Lindblad Excellence Fund in honor of his late wife, who died in 2011. The fund supports graduate students, faculty and programs and has a preference for work in the areas of geriatrics and gerontology.
  • A recent $500,000 contribution establishes the Waldron O. and Janet S. Lindblad Professorship in Geriatrics, the first distinguished professorship at the WSU College of Nursing. It will be held by Mel Haberman, Ph.D.
  • An additional gift of $400,000 will be donated after his death through his estate plan.

Lindblad has asked the college to train the staff at Regency Pullman as well as other communities in the state, according to the Spokesman-Review. Caregivers will be tested before and after training to measure effectiveness, the college said.

“The WSU College of Nursing is privileged to help Mr. Lindblad fulfill his dual wishes of honoring the nursing profession and advancing the field of gerontology,” College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, said in a statement. “Students and faculty are already benefiting from the Janet S. Lindblad Excellence Fund. I’m confident the new Lindblad Professorship in Geriatrics will bring distinction in research and scholarship in the field of aging at Washington State University.”

Lindblad’s interest in geriatrics grew from his experiences and those of his wife as they aged, he told WSU. He has a WSU connection in that one of his three adult children is a longtime employee in WSU’s Department of Plant Pathology, according to the nursing school.

In addition to paying tribute to his late wife, the donations also honor the nurses alongside whom Lindblad worked during the Korean War, the school said. A commissioned U.S. Air Force pilot, Lindblad retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1978 and went on to a career in securities and real estate investing.

He also is donating $1 million to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane and another $1 million to the American Legion’s Legacy Scholarship Fund for college students, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Photo courtesy of the Washington State University College of Nursing.