NORTH CANTON — Walsh University’s first registered student has donated $8.3 million to his alma mater, marking the largest donation in school history.

Willis “Bill” Rambo, who graduated in 1964 with a degree in history, and wife, Trina, who retired from nursing in 2004, made the donation to primarily support Walsh’s Byers School of Nursing through program development, scholarships and lab updates.

Rambo said the donation is a testament to Walsh’s founders, the Brothers of Christian Instruction, particularly his mentor Brother Robert Francoeur and the education he received at Walsh.

“I don’t think I would have done as well in life without the work ethic they instilled in us,” Rambo said in a phone interview Wednesday.

After graduating from Walsh, Rambo enlisted in the National Guard and worked 35 years in the property and casualty insurance business in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, including 15 years as vice president with Brown & Brown Inc. and president of its subsidiary MacDuff Underwriters. He retired in 2000.

The Rambos made an initial gift to Walsh University in 2016, which established the Rambo Family Advanced Nursing Lab, The Rambo Family Endowed Scholarship, as well as planning for the endowed chair of nursing.

The new donation helps establish the Bill Rambo Admissions Center and the Rambo Global Health Scholars Program, which will help in the travel costs for students as they study across the globe. The gift also provides inception funding for the Trina Rambo R.N., Dean’s Chair of the Byers School of Nursing.

Rambo said he and Trina wanted to do more than invest in buildings.

“This leaves a legacy of helping people,” said Rambo noting that two daughters are registered nurses and one is a certified nursing assistant. “This will help these students, which a lot of (Walsh’s) kids are first-time college students, and these students will become something that will help other people in life.”

Walsh President Richard Jusseaume said the donation will help not only advance Walsh’s nursing program but also the field of nursing and healthcare.

“Their gift will have a lasting impact on Walsh University for years to come,” he said.