Celebrating a Legacy of Leadership in Education, Research, and Practice

The Centennial of the IU School of Nursing
IU School of Nursing Centennial Gala
Scottish Rite Cathedral
Indianapolis, Indiana
June 21, 2014


On behalf of Indiana University, I am very pleased to welcome you to this centennial celebration of the IU School of Nursing.

I am delighted to welcome a number of distinguished guests who have joined us for this memorable occasion.

First, I would like to introduce my wife, Laurie Burns McRobbie, First Lady of Indiana University.

We are joined this evening by two members of the Indiana University Board of Trustees: vice chair of the trustees, MaryEllen Bishop is here with her husband, Michael; and Dr. Phil Eskew, Jr., is here with his wife Ann, who, incidentally, holds two degrees from the IU School of Nursing.

Would you join me in welcoming them?

I am also delighted to welcome a number of other distinguished guests. I will ask them to stand as I introduce them, and I ask that you hold your applause until all are introduced.

With us are Indiana University’s vice president for university clinical affairs, and dean of the IU School of Medicine, Dr. Jay Hess; the president and CEO of Indiana University Health, Dan Evans; the founding dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Gene Temple, and his wife, Mary, who holds a Master’s degree from the School of Nursing; Mohammed Torabi, dean of the IU School of Public Health in Bloomington; dean emeritus of the IU School of Medicine and former IU vice president for university clinical affairs, Dr. Craig Brater and his wife, Stephanie; Matt Gutwein, president and CEO of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County; and Lisa Harris, CEO of Eskenazi Health.

Would you join me in welcoming them?

A Century of Excellence in Research, Education, and Practice

In 1932, Annie Warburton Goodrich, then dean of the nursing program at Yale University, wrote: “Nursing education should find its place in the university …where all educational expressions have been increasingly placed, and for the reason that universal knowledge is there… [for] the needs of the students as future builders of the community.”1

At the time Goodrich was writing, nursing education had already found its place at IU, in the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, established in 1914.

And now, for a century, students, faculty and staff of the IU School of Nursing truly have been “builders of the community,” and the school’s outstanding educational, research, and clinical activities continue to have an immense and far-reaching impact in the state of Indiana and beyond.

An Outstanding Tradition of Research

The school has long been known for transformative research that advances the science of nursing and touches and improves hundreds of thousands of lives.

Having been continuously federally funded for 30 years, the school ranks 13th in the country among all nursing institutions—and eighth among public institutions and third in the Big 10—in terms of the amount of funding it receives from the National Institute of Health.

The school is home to superb research programs in behavioral oncology and cancer control; to outstanding research centers that make great advancements in the study of chronic illness, palliative and end-of-life communication and care, and nursing education; and to a number of faculty who have been inducted into Sigma Theta Tau’s International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Global Engagement

Of course, the school’s efforts reach well beyond the boundaries of Indiana and are an important part of Indiana University’s great traditions of international education and engagement.

The IU School of Nursing has partners in Kenya, Taiwan, Thailand, and Liberia.  In fact, one alumna, Wvannie Scott-McDonald, currently serves as the general administrator for Liberia’s John F. Kennedy Medical Center, and is helping to lead efforts to improve the quality of healthcare in that country. And I am delighted that she is here this evening. Would you join me in welcoming Dr. Scott-McDonald?

The school’s global engagement is also reflected in the mission of the honor society for nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Founded by six graduates of the IU School of Nursing in 1922, the organization’s mission is to advance world health and celebrate nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Sigma Theta Tau has more than 135,000 members in more than 85 countries.

Outstanding Faculty

Excellence in any school, of course, is dependent on outstanding faculty, and I am delighted that so many past and present members of the faculty could be here this evening. 

Among the school’s faculty are 30 fellows of the American Academy of Nursing; eight Fellows of the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education; and three Fellows of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 

Three members of the faculty currently serve as editors of major journals of the nursing profession.

A Great Tradition of Philanthropy

Just as it has done across Indiana University, a great spirit of generosity has left an indelible mark on the IU School of Nursing. 

The school distributes nearly $750,000 each year in the form of scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Generous gifts from alumni and friends, and IU School of Nursing staff and faculty fund these scholarships—which range from $500 to several thousand to fully funded tuition. These gifts are often made in honor or in memory of family members, friends, classmates, and beloved faculty. 

The school’s two endowed chairs are also the product of impressive philanthropy by alumni. The Edward W. and Sarah Stam Cullipher Chair and the Sally Reahard Chair were made possible through generous estate gifts of $1.5 million and $1.9 million respectively. 

The school’s three endowed professorships—two on the IUPUI campus and one in Bloomington—are the result of generous gifts from multiple donors. 

An extraordinarily generous gift of $2 million from the estate of alumna Jean Johnson Schaefer helped to establish the Jean Johnson Schaefer Resource Center for Innovation in Clinical Nursing Education, a state-of-the-art learning laboratory which supports the school’s teaching and learning missions. 

Many of you who are here tonight have also given generous support to the school. On behalf of Indiana University, we are enormously grateful for your generosity.

A Great History of Leadership

This great history of the IU School of Nursing is also testimony to strong leadership over many years. That leadership includes such figures as Alice Fitzgerald, the first Superintendent of Nurses and director of the Training School for Nurses, and Emily Holmquist, the first dean of the IU School of Nursing. 

Distinguished professor and University Dean emerita Angela Barron McBride, to whom I had the honor of presenting an honorary IU doctoral degree during the May Commencement ceremony, continued this tradition of outstanding leadership. And I am pleased to say that she is also here this evening. Would you join me in recognizing Dean Emerita McBride?

More recently, Distinguished Professor and University Dean Marion Broome has extended the tradition of strong leadership of the school. She has brought a vision for the School of Nursing that reaches across the nation and around the world, and she has shown the tireless energy necessary to make that vision a reality. As most of you also know, she is about to become the new dean of the School of Nursing at Duke University. We will hear from her after dinner, but I would like to invite Dean Broome to join me at the podium for just a moment so that I may present her with a gift on behalf of Indiana University as a token of appreciation for her outstanding service. And as she comes forward, would you all join me in thanking Dean Broome for her superb service to Indiana University with a round of applause? 

Marion and Carroll, we wish you all the best in your transition to North Carolina.

Conclusion: The IU School of Nursing Second Century

The Indiana University School of Nursing enters its second century at a time when there is a tremendous need for nurse leaders and the important roles they play in healthcare. 

In its 2010 report on the future of nursing, the Institute of Medicine called for an increase in the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees from 50 to 80 percent and doubling the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020.2

The Indiana University School of Nursing stands ready to help meet those goals, as it continues to provide an excellent educational foundation to students who will go on to provide outstanding patient care, prepare the faculty of tomorrow, lead efforts to improve healthcare around the globe, mentor subsequent generations of nurses, and conduct research of the highest quality that advances the science of nursing. 

All of us look forward to a second century in which the IU School of Nursing builds upon the excellence that we have witnessed in its first.


Source Notes

  1. Annie Warburton Goodrich, The Social and Ethical Significance of Nursing, (Yale University School of Nursing, 1932), 173.

  2. Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” (The National Academies Press, 2010), 10-11.