The Saint Xavier University School of Nursing 75th anniversary celebration Sept. 11 in Chicago drew more than 200 guests many from in and around the city, others from California and Oregon to the west, Connecticut and North Carolina to the east, and Florida and the Caribbean island of Trinidad to the south.
They came to attend a special Mass celebrated by Monsignor Kenneth Velo in McDonough Chapel on the schools Chicago campus. Velo is an Archdiocese of Chicago priest. They came to hear guest lecturer Suzanne Gordon, an award-winning journalist and author, advocate for the profession of nursing.
They came to learn about and relive the history of the university and its close ties with Mercy Hospital, both founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Saint Xavier and Mercy joined forces in 1935 to create the first integrated baccalaureate nursing program in Illinois.Current nursing students and faculty member Karen OBrien, RN, MSN, modeled nursing uniforms through the years, including a reproduction from the Mercy Hospital Training School, circa 1890.
As part of the festivities, guests were treated to a show of nursing uniforms throughout history modeled by current nursing students and faculty member Karen OBrien. Keeper of the uniforms Joan Hau, emerita faculty, reproduced two of the oldest uniforms, including an 1890 uniform from the Mercy Hospital Training Center.
SON Dean Gloria Jacobson, RN, PhD, said among the most rewarding aspects of the celebration was being reminded of the significant influence of the Sisters of Mercy in bringing education and healthcare to the city of Chicago especially to young women and witnessing the pride of SON graduates as they talked about their educational and professional experiences.
Jacobson said that among the alumni in attendance were two from the class of 1944.
Everyone seemed thrilled to be gathered for this celebration, Jacobson said. Proceeds from the event will fund nursing student scholarships.