100 Years of Nursing Excellence

September 16, 2009
By Randy Fiedler

Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a varied schedule of special events during the 2009-2010 academic year.

"Over the past 100 years, Baylor nurses have played important roles in health care and society, and have been guided by the highest ethical standards with a focus on missions and serving others across the globe," said Dr. Judith Wright Lott, dean of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and professor of nursing. "During our centennial, we hope to honor those teachers, students and supporters who have helped make our school what it is today."

Baylor's nursing school was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium in Dallas, which eventually came to be known as the Baylor University Medical Center. The first classes of nursing students in Baylor's program worked in the sanitarium (that era's word for hospital), providing primary care for patients during their 12-hour shifts and attending classes during non-work hours.

In 1950, the School of Nursing became one of Baylor's six degree-granting schools, with the first bachelor of science in nursing degrees awarded in 1954. In November 1999, the School was renamed the Louise Herrington School of nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor University Alumna Honoris Causa, made a $13 million endowment gift to the school.

In the 100 years since the School opened, more than 4,000 graduates have gone on to pursue successful nursing careers around the world, with at least 500 graduates serving on the mission field. Their legacy will be honored throughout the year with special events and publications.

On Aug. 17, a special nursing exhibit opened at the Mayborn Museum Complex titled "Celebrating a Century of Service." The exhibit, which runs through April 18, 2010, features historical items supplied by nursing school alumni, including vintage medical instruments and nursing uniforms, photographs and wartime memorabilia.

To spotlight and honor outstanding alumni, the School will publish a paperback book called 100 Legends in the Line, profiling 100 Baylor nursing school graduates chosen from nominees submitted by alumni.

"These legends we're profiling are people who have made a difference in the life of the School of Nursing and who have benefited society with their efforts," Lott said.

As part of the centennial celebration, on Sept. 11 on the Dallas campus a dedication ceremony was held for the new Barnabas Success Center and Diane Brinkman Study Area, which supports student learning in much the same way the Paul L. Foster Success Center does on the Waco campus.

All graduates are invited to a nursing school reunion Oct. 9-11 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas. The reunion will feature six continuing education seminars, tours of the campus and a reunion dinner, to include the cutting of the centennial cake.

Two more special events are planned for the spring 2010 semester. On Feb. 25, an endowed scholarship dinner will be held to honor all persons who have provided endowed scholarships to the School. The year's centennial schedule will conclude in April with a gala lunch in Dallas, featuring an address by a nationally recognized speaker.

To learn more about the Louise Herrington School of Nursing centennial or to register for events, visit
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