School celebrates 110-year legacy, affirms its future

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing's celebrate their 110-year anniversary. 

October 17, 2019

Patricia Horoho standing at a lecturn

University of Minnesota School of Nursing alumni, faculty, students and special guests filled McNamara Alumni Center May 1 to celebrate the School of Nursing’s 110-year legacy and affirm its future.

Nursing education and the profession were forever changed when Richard Olding Beard led the first successful effort to establish nursing in an institution of higher learning at the University of Minnesota in 1909.

Speakers at the 110 celebration included retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. and OptumServe CEO Patricia Horoho, who was introduced by retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. and AAN Living Legend Clara Adams-Ender. Horoho spoke about the opportunity to carry the legacy of care forward and engage the next generation of nurses so that we arm them with the imperative of moral courage, resilience and agility, and she acknowledged her appreciation for the school’s legacy.

“Thank you, when the world was watching, that you all stepped forward in World War I and supported training military nurses. Thank you, when the world was watching, that you all stepped forward for World War II and you trained military nurses,” said Horoho. “You all have shown the moral courage, the resiliency and what it takes when a nation is watching to be able to stand up and have an impact.”

Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson spoke about the importance of the school nationally and within the University. “When this school was founded in 1909 as the University of Minnesota School for Nurses it was the first out of more than 1,000 nursing schools in the country to be under a university umbrella. While the other nursing schools for the most part were part of a hospital, our school was focused on educating rather than simply training for duty,” said Hanson. “Then and now, the School of Nursing has been a key contributor to the University’s fulfillment of the fundamental land grant mission.”

Jakub Tolar, vice president of Academic Clinical Affairs and dean of the Medical School, congratulated the school on its anniversary. “I have a tremendous sense of gratitude to nursing, which, in my world, is absolutely fundamental,” said Tolar. “Nursing is the backbone of everything we do in health care.”

Alum and Northeast Middle School nurse Nathan Grumdahl, BSN, spoke of the role of nurses, evoking Florence Nightingale. “We as nurses carry a special burden or gift depending on how you look at it,” he said. “We all have a light that we can shine on the dark places.”

“At the University of Minnesota School of Nursing we can be tremendously proud of where we have come from over these past 110 years,” said Dean Connie White Delaney. “More importantly, we can dream and envision where we are headed.”

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