The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved renaming the building Feb. 26, following a formal request from ULM.
"Due to her dedication to this community and specifically to ULM--where she is the university's largest donor--the naming of the Nursing Building in her honor is fitting," said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno.
"Mrs. DeGree was an individual who gave of her influence and affluence without expecting anything in return except improvement in quality of life for those in northeast Louisiana. We can all learn from her generosity and commitment to our region."
DeGree's dedication to ULM ensured the remarkable progress of several university programs and facilities. Her overall contributions to the university total $7.4 million.
Kitty's capital gifts include: the Kitty DeGree Computer Center, which is the key student resource area of the Clarke M. Williams Student Success Center; the Kitty DeGree Pharmacy Student Resource Center/Library; and the Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center.
When the president's former home--now known as University House--was moved to allow the building of the new library, Kitty funded its refurbishment, which has accommodated dignitaries from all over the world.
DeGree also provided funding for the focal part of the University Library and Conference Center, including the entry tower. The Kitty DeGree Bell Tower is now an icon and one of the official university logos.
In May 1989, the university conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree to Kitty, and in 2009 she was named a Trustee Emeritus member of the ULM Foundation Board.
She also received the inaugural Hall of Distinction Award in 2004, which is the university's most prestigious award recognizing those who have honored ULM through a lifetime of distinction and exemplary service, and in support for, or promotion of the university.
Also befitting her exceptional generosity, the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees voted to name the university's major gifts recognition society, the Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Society. Membership in the society is based upon the donor's lifetime giving to the university and begins at the $50,000 level.
After an additional seven-figure gift to the university, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved the naming of the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing in June 2012.