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 Dean Emeritus Rita P. Kelleher

Connell School to Hold Event of Remembrance for Rita Kelleher

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By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle Staff
Published: April 29, 2010
The Connell School of Nursing will hold an event May 12 in remembrance of Dean Emeritus Rita P. Kelleher, the school's first faculty member and longtime dean, who died last November at the age of 101. The event, which will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Fulton Hall Honors Library, will include reflections from Kelleher's friends, colleagues, and family.

CSON Dean Susan Gennaro will host the event and offer welcoming and closing remarks. Speakers for the event are: Woods College of Advancing Studies Dean James Woods, SJ, Beth Grady '59, MS'64 and Kelleher's nephew Ed Dann.

Kelleher joined the School of Nursing as its first faculty member in 1947. She was appointed dean the following year and served until 1968. After stepping down from the dean's post, Kelleher taught in the nursing school and served as interim dean for one year until her retirement from Boston College in 1973.

During her tenure as dean, Kelleher was among the national vanguard promoting the baccalaureate degree as a requirement for professional practice.

Kelleher was awarded an honorary degree from Boston College in 1968. In 2009, the Connell School of Nursing established the Dean Rita Kelleher Award, which honors a CSON alumnus who is an accomplished nursing leader, an ethically aware scientist and a skilled and inquisitive clinician.

To register for the event, see