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MC School of Nursing Celebrates 50th Anniversary
MC School of Nursing connects alumni and present students to celebrate 50 years of training successful nurses.
The Mississippi College School of Nursing celebrated its 50th anniversary with a program and reception at the Gore Arts Complex honoring the original class of 1973 on Friday, October 20. The event was organized to reconnect alumni and commemorate the school’s rich history.
“With the beginnings of our nursing school being so long ago, we have lost connection with our alumni groups,” Dr. Kimberly Sharp, dean of the School of Nursing, said. “With having updated contact information, we’ve started to plug people into memory groups, so we can have alums reconnecting. We thought we would start with the 50th celebration as a way to kick start that.”
One of the members of that class, Darlene Lindsey, has served as a nursing professor at multiple community colleges. Lindsey took part in an opening Q&A session and delivered an address at the anniversary celebration. Both segments focused on the differences between nursing school now and today.
“I think the difference between now and back then was it is now a little faster with computers and things like that,” Lindsey said. “When we were here, everything was handwritten. So, we had to study a lot. We had clinicals here at Lowrey, but most of them were at Baptist Hospital. We would also do some at other hospitals in town.”
One of her colleagues, Susan Richardson, is a retired professor of nursing at MC for 35 years. She taught from 1985-2021. Over the years, Richardson has archived all the nursing school’s various uniforms for the past half-century. The uniforms were put on display in a procession on stage. Richardson then spoke on the meaning of the roses that her class would be given.
The original dean of the nursing school, Dr. Marion Bassett started the tradition of the roses at their first capping ceremony.
“The roses were our tradition,” said Richardson. “The school was really crunched on money and were thinking about getting rid of that tradition. I said ‘No, I will take it on as an alumni’. Now, I go to every pinning ceremony and present the roses to the graduates.”
Fourth semester nursing students took to the stage as the class passed the torch to the next generation. One of those students, Mackenzie Newton, says that she is proud to be a part of the school’s legacy.
“It’s really special,” Newton said. “I’m interviewing for jobs currently. When people see that I’m about to be a graduate of Mississippi College nursing school, that carries weight behind it. That would not be as reputable as a school if it wasn’t for those who came before me who set such good examples and high standards that made it what it is today.”
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