Emory Report
March 16, 2009
Volume 61, Number 23



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March 16
, 2009
Turman award goes to its first professor

By Eric Rangus

Emory’s highest award for alumni service to the University, the J. Pollard Turman Alumni Service Award, was presented to Sally Lehr ’65N-’76MN, clinical associate professor of nursing, at a March 6 ceremony in the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

“I’ve really found a place to call home,” says Lehr, who has contributed nearly 50 years of service to Emory as a student, alumna and faculty member. “I really don’t feel like I’ve given anything, because I’ve gotten back so much more.”

The award, established in 1998, is named for J. Pollard Turman, ’34C-’36L-’73H, an influential humanitarian. It recognizes Emory alumni who have performed extraordinary service or made outstanding contributions of time, expertise and leadership to Emory. Lehr is the first graduate of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the first faculty member to receive the award. The ceremony honoring Lehr drew more than 160 attendees, the most ever.

The honor includes a glass “bell cow” (Turman’s personal nickname for outstanding leaders) made by Atlanta’s Fräbel Glass Art Studio, and a $25,000 donation from the Tull Foundation to be pledged to the Emory school, unit or program of the recipient’s choice. Lehr says she plans to donate the award to the nursing school and the Winship Cancer Institute.

Lehr’s alumni engagement began in the mid-1970s, when she helped re-form the Nurses Alumni Association Board. She has served on the NAA board ever since and her leadership includes multiple one-year terms as its president, a role she currently fulfills. University-wide, Lehr has served a three-year term on the Emory Alumni Board, and she has been a member of the nursing school faculty for 32 years.

“As a teacher and as an alumna, on campus and off, Sally Lehr’s service to her community has been invaluable and transforming,” said President Jim Wagner in presenting the award. “She has been, and continues to be, a role model for generations.”