Nursing Building - Anniversary
Alumni Mark Celebration for 50th Anniversary
of Nursing Degree

March 4, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – In April, the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Nursing will host an event that celebrates more than an anniversary. It will celebrate the field of nursing. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Illinois Wesleyan offering a four-year bachelor of science degree in nursing. To commemorate that date, the school is hosting “Celebrate Nursing, Celebrate Gold,” a day of events on campus on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

“We wanted to create an event that will not only allow our graduates and current students to look back, but also allow them to look towards the future,” said Vickie Folse, director of the School of Nursing.

Registration for the event is due by March 30. For registration information, go to the School of Nursing Web site.

A presentation and a panel discussion of honored nursing alumnae will highlight the day. Sally Lundeen, a 1969 IWU graduate and dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) will be the speaker at 1:30 p.m. in the Center for Natural Sciences (201 E. Beecher St., Bloomington). She will give a talk titled “Nursing: Past, Present and Future.” Lundeen, an Illinois Wesleyan Distinguished Alumna, pioneered one of the first online doctorate programs for nurses in the country. An alumna known for her commitment to her community, she has established two clinics assisting the underinsured or uninsured in Milwaukee: the UWM Community Nursing Center and the House of Peace Community Center.

Two more Distinguished Alumna will join the panel discussion called “Contemporary Challenges and Issues in Nursing and Health Care” at 2:30 p.m. in the Center for Natural Sciences. “The discussion will be enriched by Karen Zander who stimulated significant change in nursing practice and Marsha Prater who can speak to the dynamic practice environment and what agencies believe they need in new graduates,” said Folse.

Karen Zander, a 1970 graduate and a recipient of an Illinois Wesleyan honorary doctorate of humane letters, is internationally recognized for her pioneering work with clinical case management and CareMap® systems – initiated at New England Medical Center Hospitals in Boston. She is the co-owner of The Center for Case Management in Massachusetts. Marsha Prater, senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Memorial Health System in Springfield, oversees the integration of the philosophy, goals and objectives of Memorial Health System into patient care delivery. She also holds adjunct faculty positions at Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Nursing and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. “We hope to promote a lively discussion about how to move the profession forward,” added Folse. The two will be joined on the panel by a current faculty member and a recent graduate.

The day will begin with the 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, which is open to the public. Beginning on the Robert S. Eckley Quadrangle at 8 a.m., packet pick-up will begin at 7 a.m. “Part of the celebration is the contribution nursing makes to health and well-being,” said Donna Hartweg, the former Caroline F. Rupert Professor of Nursing and former director of the school, who helped organize the run. “We hope the entire community participates.” 

Nursing Image

Registration for the rest of the day’s events will be at 9 a.m. in the newly renovated Shanks Lounge in Stevenson Hall (210 E. University St., Bloomington). Participants can also explore the exhibit titled History of the IWU BSN Program at The Ames Library, which opens at 10 a.m. The exhibit, which is currently open and runs until April 30, highlights artifacts from the School of Nursing. “This exhibit will appeal not just to the nurses, but to the campus community and the Bloomington-Normal community as well,” said Folse. “It speaks to the richness of what nursing has contributed throughout the century.” University Archivist Meg Miner coordinated the creation of the exhibit, and also a photo exhibit, available online at the School of Nursing Web site.

“Alumni and faculty of the program contributed information and memorabilia for the exhibits on the library's first floor as well as photographs for the online exhibit,” said Miner. “We are fortunate to have enthusiastic, knowledgeable guest curators as well to help pull together a lot of history into informative and visually interesting displays.”

Throughout the day, attendees will be able to tour the campus, as they reconnect with former classmates and faculty. Participants will also have the chance to take part in a demonstration in the nursing intervention lab titled “Beyond Mrs. Chase and Annie: Simulations and Scenarios.” The names pertain to simulation mannequins used over the years to prepare students for direct patient care. A networking luncheon will be held at 11:45 a.m. that day in the Young Main Lounge of Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington).

The evening will conclude with a formal dinner, complete with a video presentation on the history of the Illinois Wesleyan program that includes a collection of alumni, students and current and former faculty focusing on teaching, scholarship and service, said Folse. “We are showcasing how Illinois Wesleyan’s School of Nursing extends the liberal arts tradition to prepare exceptional thinkers, compassionate professionals and leaders for nursing and global healthcare,” she said. University President Richard F. Wilson will be at the dinner to announce new endowed student scholarships for the School of Nursing. 

For additional information, contact the School of Nursing at (309) 556-3051.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960