Press Releases

School of Nursing’s Currie Tighe Selected as 2024 Tillman Scholar

The 2024 Class joins nearly 900 Tillman Scholars honoring 20 years of carrying Pat Tillman's legacy forward.

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Primary Contact:
Matthew McDermott

CHICAGO – July 1, 2024 

Loyola University Chicago announced today that the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) has named Currie Tighe, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, a 2024 Tillman Scholar.

Currie Tighe, 2024 Tillman Scholar and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student.

PTF honors the service of renowned NFL player and United States Army Ranger Pat Tillman by investing in future leaders. Over the past twenty years, PTF has raised $34 million, supporting over 900 Tillman Scholars at more than 150 universities including Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University. 

“With each new class of Tillman Scholars, the powerful impact of Pat’s legacy is further realized as these scholars influence future generations of leaders,” said Katherine Steele, PTF CEO and 2014 Tillman Scholar. 

Selected from nearly 1,600 applications, this year’s class of 60 active-duty military, veterans, and spouses model exemplary service, humble leadership, and impact. Tillman scholarships will fund their pursuit of higher education in impact areas such as healthcare, business, and STEM, allowing them to continue serving their communities. 

Currie Tighe exemplifies the selfless service and professional excellence we hope that all of our students aspire towards. His service in the military, and later to his local community as a civilian nurse, honors Pat Tillman’s legacy of discerning one’s calling and fearlessly pursuing it.

— Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN , Dean of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Tighe served nearly a decade in the U.S. Army as an emergency room nurse and eventually helped train, grow, and develop the next generation of U.S. Army Nurse Corps officers as Brigade Nurse Counselor for 3rd Brigade Reserve Officer Training Corps. Retiring as a captain in 2022, he enrolled in Loyola’s practice-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program that prepares nurses as leaders in health care systems and patient care and encompasses a range of clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills. Tighe is pursuing his degree through Loyola’s family nurse practitioner with emergency specialty track, the only such DNP program in the Chicago area that offers that track. 

The DNP program has grown in popularity nationwide as the complexity of health care—and with it, the need for advanced practice nurses educated beyond the master’s level—has increased. While a traditional PhD in Nursing prepares students for research careers in nursing science, the DNP equips nurses with the skills to translate research into practice and improve patient outcomes in clinical settings. 

Reflecting on being selected, Tighe shared: “I am deeply honored to be named a 2024 Tillman Scholar. It is a privilege to be part of this distinguished group of scholars and leaders who exemplify service and commitment to their communities. This scholarship supports my academic journey and my goal of making a meaningful impact in nursing and healthcare. I am inspired by Pat Tillman’s legacy and am committed to carrying forward his spirit of leadership and selfless service to others.” 


About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,600 students. The University has five campuses: four in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course offerings at the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a leading national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, or follow us on Twitter via@LoyolaChicago. 

About the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing 

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing admitted its first class in 1935 and is recognized as the oldest collegiate nursing program in Illinois. Today, the School offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus in Chicago and the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. The School of Nursing prepares nurses to be clinicians, practitioners, nurse leaders, executives, scholars, and researchers. The School offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). In 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the School’s BSN is in the top five percent of undergraduate nursing programs nationwide. To learn more about the School of Nursing, visit or follow us on LinkedIn. 

About the Pat Tillman Foundation 

The Pat Tillman Foundation identifies remarkable veterans and military spouses as the next generation of leaders. It helps them scale their impact as they enter their next chapter of service beyond self through academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development, and a global community of peers and supporters. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit