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February 7, 2005
Nursing's 'future of caring' starts right now
BY Eric Rangus
Students and faculty of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing packed themselves shoulder to shoulder in the nursing school plaza, Friday, Jan. 28, to kick off the school’s centennial celebration.
“We’re here to celebrate the last 100 years, but also to challenge ourselves to make the future even better,” said Dean Marla Salmon, who spoke briefly and mingled among the students as they ate a buffet lunch, snacked on birthday cake and cupcakes and picked up souvenir T-shirts.
The centennial celebration will be a yearlong commemoration of the nursing school’s past, present and future. Events will be spread across 2005, including lectures, an exclusive visit from former President Jimmy Carter on Feb. 24 (the school’s center for international nursing is named for his mother, Lillian) and a huge party on Aug. 16, the 100th anniversary of the school’s creation.
The next event on the centennial agenda is the Feb. 18 Virginia Lee Franklin Conference, “A Head’s Up on Headaches,” at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center Hotel.
The nursing school was founded in downtown Atlanta in 1905 as the Wesley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. In 1922 it moved with Wesley Hospital to Emory, where it was renamed the Emory University Hospital School of Nursing. The school was named in 1967 for Nell Hodgson Woodruff, the wife of Robert W. Woodruff, and it boasts 10,000 alumni from its first century of existence.
Salmon said 2005 provides an opportunity for the Emory community to learn more about the nursing school’s history, and that activities this year could provide building blocks for future generations of Emory nurses. She noted that the school has risen into the Top 20 nationally and soon will launch a Centennial Fund to provide aid for incoming students.“We want to make sure that any student who wants to come here can come here,” Salmon said. “Our aspiration is not only to be great or to be the best among others, it’s to be the best in making a difference. Over the next century we will move from great to the best.
With that theme in mind, Salmon unveiled not only the centennial logo but also the celebration’s theme: “The Future of Caring, Now.”
“We’re not going to wait,” Salmon said to the student audience. “You are part of creating this future.”
Salmon’s inspirational words blended with the casual atmosphere of the event, which was apparent as soon as visitors entered the plaza. Up front a skeleton modeling one of the anniversary T-shirts handed out to every nursing student (both Salmon and Emory Medalist Edith Honeycutt ’39N joked that the special guest was not a member of the Class of 1905 returning to her alma mater), and a large table of cupcakes was set up in the design of the numeral 100.
Honeycutt, who funds a chair in the nursing school and was Robert W. Woodruff’s private duty nurse, also introduced a special guest of her own creation: a doll wearing a nursing school uniform circa 1905.
Other dolls created by Honeycutt and wearing a variety of uniforms through the years are on display in the nursing school office of development and alumni relations.
After a five-person contingent of the all-female student a cappella group The Gathering sang “Happy Birthday,” the crowd adjourned down the hall to enjoy lunch.