S.O.N. Marks 50th Anniversary

The School of Nursing celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 5 with a slate of commemorative events that drew some 400 alumni and guests to campus.

Rita P. Kelleher, the first dean of the School of Nursing, talks to SON graduates at the celebration of the school's 50th anniversary on April 5. Kelleher, who served as dean from 1947 until 1972, was joined by her successor, Mary Dineen, and current SON Dean Barbara Munro at the event. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Two of the school's first deans, Rita P. Kelleher (1947-72) and Mary A. Dineen (1972-76), joined current SON Dean Barbara H. Munro to hail "50 Years of Nursing Excellence" during the day-long program. The festivities included a "Celebration of the Decades" with former students and faculty, and ended with a Mass in Gasson Hall, celebrated by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, with concelebrants University Historian Charles F. Donovan, SJ, and Prof. Emeritus James W. Skehan, SJ (Geology), and with readings and prayers delivered by SON alumni.

"We were touched, we laughed and we were so impressed with the dedication of all these graduates to their alma mater," said Munro.

As part of the commemoration, April 4 was declared "Boston College School of Nursing Day" in Massachusetts by Gov. William Weld, and in Boston and Newton by Mayors Thomas Menino and Thomas Concannon, respectively. Letters of congratulation were sent to the school by President Clinton, Sen. Edward Kennedy and US Rep. Barney Frank.

"Our nation relies on schools such as yours to empower America's nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to maintain the highest standards of health care," Clinton wrote. "I am confident that the Boston College School of Nursing will continue to endow future generations with expertise and guidance, upholding a long-standing commitment to professional excellence and compassionate care."

-Mark Sullivan

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