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May 2007 Issue

Betty Michael (left), Toni Winkle (back) and Becky Newsome peruse College of Nursing memorabilia. The trio of former nurses helped establish the Wedbush Legacy Center at UC to honor the accomplishment of nurses.
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Memorabilia on Permanent Display at New Wedbush Nursing Legacy Center

Published May 2007

Nursing uniforms and caps that are more than 100 years old, historical medical supplies and books are just a few of the things that College of Nursing alumni have been collecting over the years.

Although the college occasionally displays some items, such as military nursing uniforms (including one from the Spanish-American War), most of the memorabilia have been sitting in boxes—until now.

Thanks to a $200,000 donation from Jean and Ed Wedbush, the college has been able to renovate a space on the third floor into an area to display memorabilia, as well as a place for students to study.

“Alumni on our historical committee have collected many pieces that reflect the college’s history and the nursing profession—more than the current space allowed,” says Andrea Lindell, PhD, College of Nursing dean.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a large enough space for them to display most of their items, or the funds to renovate space for them until we received the gift from Jean and Ed Wedbush,” Lindell says.

Two years ago, Jean Wedbush decided to get some exercise by walking around the UC campus. Her husband, a longtime member of UC’s foundation board and a College of Engineering alumnus, was on campus for a meeting.

"I walked by the College of Nursing and decided to stop in,” says Wedbush, a nurse herself. “I was taken to Dean Lindell’s office and we discussed the college’s needs and went on a tour.”

That initial meeting led to a friendship between the two and to Wedbush’s gift, which she wanted to be used at the dean’s discretion.

“The historical committee has been asking me for a space to display their items for 16 years,” says Lindell. “After discussing it with Mrs. Wedbush, we decided it would be wonderful to use her gift to establish the Wedbush Nursing Legacy Center.”

Betty Michael, a 1946 alumna of the college and chair of the historical committee, is thrilled with the new center, which was completed last month.

“We have so many interesting things, and the room is so beautiful. It’s in a location that should make it easier for students, faculty and staff to enjoy,” says Michael.

Says Wedbush, “It’s important for students to see where nursing and their college was years ago and how it has evolved into what it is today.”

Lindell hopes the center will enhance faculty and student pride and build a foundation for future alumni.

The college, founded in 1889, was the first to offer a baccalaureate in nursing (1916). The first class graduated 11 students. Last year, 183 students graduated from the college, which now has an enrollment of more than 1,000.

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