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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/20/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Professor to be Honored September 24

Cincinnati--A reception honoring Professor Ruth Moore Bunyan, RN, EdD, University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing, will be held at the Marriott Kingsgate Conference Center from 4 - 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24. Bunyan graduated from UC in 1953, was one of the College of Nursingšs first African-American students, and has been a leader in the field of graduate education for the past 41 years at the UC College of Nursing.

Bunyan began her education in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Kentucky. She was bright and worked hard; by the time she graduated from Cincinnatišs Woodward High School, she was senior class president.

Now a professor of graduate nursing, Bunyan was one of the first African-Americans admitted to the UC College of Nursing and Health. Assigned to a single room, she remembers how much like an outsider she felt. "The other students just tolerated me," she says. Her support came from African-American staff members at the old General Hospital. They told her, "If you need to know anything, you ask me and I'll help you," she recalls. Like many college freshman, her first semester was lonely, and while home for Christmas break Bunyan had second thoughts about going back. "My parents had never been to college," she says, "and my dad told me, 'You just come home and I'll take care of you.' "

Bunyan credits her mother for her return. "I donšt want you to just lie down and roll over," she recalls her mother saying. "If you want to be a nurse, you go on back," her mother told her. Bunyan not only went back, she went on to become one of the college's top students. In 1960, she accepted a teaching appointment offered to her by College of Nursing Dean Laura Rosnagle. Rosnagle was "courageous," says Bunyan, "because to my knowledge there were no other African-American faculty at the university at the time." Bunyan received her doctorate in education in 1975 and was promoted to full professor. She hopes her success will inspire other black students.

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