Over 30 scholarships and awards recognizing academic and clinical excellence, and community outreach were presented at the Memorial University School of Nursing’s inaugural scholarship and awards ceremony held recently.
“This is a brand new event for us, and one we are very excited to host,” said Judith McFetridge-Durdle in her remarks to a large gathering of students, faculty, donors and special guests. “It gives us an opportunity to shine a light on the success of our students, and the generosity of our donors.”
Previously Memorial’s School of Nursing had given out scholarships and awards during graduation ceremonies held every spring and fall to coincide with convocation.
“Many of our awards this evening had multiple nominees associated with each,” said Darcy McMeekin, development officer in the schools of nursing and pharmacy, and emcee for the awards ceremony. “The recipients are therefore not your average hard working student; they are the students that go above and beyond what is expected and accomplish great things through sheer will and determination. “
Three new awards were presented during the evening awards ceremony, including two undergraduate awards and one award for graduate students.
The Mary Eileen Wight Award in Nursing is the school’s first renewable award for undergraduates and recognizes outstanding patient care; the Mary Dunley Nurse Memorial Bursary is an annual award that recognizes strong clinical skills and financial need, and the Edna R. Woolgar Graduate Scholarship in Nursing recognizes graduate students who are completing research or have a passion for oncology or palliative care.
Many donor families took part in the scholarship and award ceremony, including over 30 members from the large family of Mary Dunley Nurse, for whom one of the new undergraduate awards is named. Mary Dunley Nurse loved being a registered nurse, and continued her career while raising 12 children on her own following her husband’s death.
“These awards come with stories, and are named for people who are important and special to you,” said Dean McFetridge-Durdle. “In many cases they had a particular connection to the nursing profession in this province, and we think that’s important to acknowledge. These awards and scholarships are such a positive way to remember someone important in your life.”
Dean McFetridge-Durdle also acknowledged the 44 students named to the 2011/12 Dean’s List.
She noted that the new scholarship and awards ceremony was happening at an important time in the school’s evolution, with a new PhD in Nursing set to being in September 2013, and a revised Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner option starting in Jan. 2013.