Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nurses salute alumni group's 100 years

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

More than 2,790 people have graduated from the Scott & White School of Nursing.
'And they're scattered all over,' said Grace Labaj, class of 1958, former dean of the Scott & White College of Nursing at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. 'They come to Temple to study, and some stay, but a lot move on.'
There's one thing that keeps track of where they go. That's the annual directory produced by the nursing school's Alumni Association.
'It's a very useful tool,' Labaj said. 'It helps us maintain contact with the graduates and keep tabs on their careers.'
The directory is just one reason why the Alumni Association is important.
The 100-year-old organization is always raising money for nursing scholarships, and every term, it hosts a congratulatory dinner for graduating nursing students.

'The Alumni Association used to give a thermometer and a pair of scissors to every nurse at graduation,' said LaVerne McDaniel of Thrall, class of 1952. 'But that stopped at World War II. Supplies were needed over there. So the alumni group started handing out Merck nursing manuals.'
All of that, though, is icing on the cake. The crux of the Alumni Association is friendship.
'If it wasn't for the association, I wouldn't be able to keep up with everyone,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'My graduating group is tight-knit, and we enjoy the association's five-year reunions.'
So when the Alumni Association celebrates its 100th anniversary this June, Ms. McDaniel and her pals are bound to have a ball.
Festivities will start June 26 with a 7-10 p.m. welcoming at the Santa Fe Depot in Temple, and a luncheon will follow at noon June 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Temple.
'At the luncheon, there will be a history program on the school and alumni association,' Ms. McDaniel said.
And select alumni will be honored for their contributions to the nursing field.
More than 100 people are already registered to attend. For details and reservations, call Ms. Labaj at 773-4427 or Sirley Holleman at 780-1578.

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