75th Anniversary of the School of Nursing's Founding

In 2014, we observed the 75th anniversary of the founding of the School. Our special anniversary celebrations began on May 16th with a luncheon for those who graduated 50 or more years ago, as well as an evening reception open to all alumni of the School. Throughout the day, alumni from classes as early as 1945 and as recent as 2014 joined in the festivities.

The most senior alumni, those who graduated from 1943 through 1964, joined Dean Jaqueline Dunbar-Jacob for lunch at the University Club. All attending alums were “re-pinned” individually by members of the school’s administration.   A high point was when a boisterous group of attendees received a round of applause as the Dean noted that these 15 alumna of the Class of 1961 were celebrating their 75th birthday in the same year that the School was marking its 75th anniversary! Attendees enjoyed reconnecting with their fellow alumni, meeting faculty and administration from the School, and making new “Pitt memories.”

The evening reception was open to all who had graduated from the School of Nursing and took place at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside. This event drew quite a diverse group of graduates: some were practicing in the 1950s when polio was eradicated while others are just starting their careers in this age of the Electronic Medical Record and health care exchanges. They appreciated the 50+ Reunion Dean’s remarks on the accomplishments of the School as well the humorous recounting of student experiences ranging from  “cheating the lights out at 10 pm rule” to watching the Pirates play at Forbes Field to taking anatomy and physiology courses with long-time faculty member, Dr. Ellen Chaffee.  The Dean recognized those special graduating classes which were celebrating milestone reunion years.

One of the highlights of the day was the return of a former dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Marguerite Schaefer, who had been an assistant professor of nutrition and biology at Yale University before coming to Pitt. Dr. Schaefer is also an alumna: she earned her Doctor of Science degree in epidemiology at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. During her tenure as dean from 1966-73, the school received funding for the construction of Victoria Building and the nation’s first oncology nursing specialist program was introduced. Dr. Schaefer graciously gave remarks on the school’s growth and impact on the evolution of the nursing profession at both events

Thanks to all of the alumni and faculty who joined the School of Nursing for its 75th Anniversary festivities on May 16!