College of Nursing to celebrate 100th anniversary

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | March 03, 2017

Image with caption: College of Nursing students, circa 1950.

College of Nursing students, circa 1950.

The UNMC College of Nursing, the state's oldest publicly-supported nursing college, will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning in October.

The college has a long and rich history. Since its first class began with 13 women on Oct. 16, 1917, in the "University of Nebraska School for Nurses," more than 14,500 students have graduated.

Seeking supporters

The 100th anniversary committee is led by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D., a UNMC associate professor of nursing, curator of the college's history museum, and graduate of the college.

The college is seeking individuals and organizations interested in supporting 100th anniversary activities. For more information, contact Deidra Sheppard-Calloway, University of Nebraska Foundation, at 402-502-4138.

With 1,135 students currently enrolled, the UNMC College of Nursing is the largest nursing program in the state. The college has campuses in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk.

The theme for the yearlong celebration is "A Century of Academic Nursing Excellence: Transforming the Future." The celebration is recognized as an official event of the 2017 Nebraska Sesquicentennial.

The college's 100th anniversary planning committee will promote the centennial during various recurring activities throughout the year. It also is planning an Oct. 20 gala to coincide with its alumni reunion, which will include recognition of extraordinary alumni. The committee also will publish an updated history book. Private funds will cover the costs.

"Our 100th year is a special milestone for the college, as well as alums and our partners across the state," said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. "Our graduates have made immeasurable contributions to the quality of life of Nebraskans. With a mission of education, research and outreach, our faculty, staff and students have been at the forefront of the evolution of the profession of nursing across Nebraska, the U.S. and the world."

Amy Thimm, president of the college's alumni engagement council and 1991 graduate of the bachelor's degree in nursing program, said she hopes alumni and supporters of the college will attend the gala. "This is a great opportunity to celebrate our history and connect in a fun and festive way," Thimm said.

Through history, UNMC has led the way with programs to prepare nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse scientists and faculty. The college started Nebraska's first doctoral nursing program in 1989 and the state's first nurse practitioner program in 1992. Faculty adopted the use of technology early on so citizens across Nebraska could access its programs.

In the 1950s, the school offered a bachelor's degree program, which was rare at the time. It also offered a three-year nursing diploma program.


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