Spring Reunion is a University-wide event, but the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing is one of the select faculties that host an independent event to specially honour its alumni. Warmed by the presence of approximately 100 alumni and guests, we paid special tribute to those who graduated in years ending in two and seven. We celebrated with a delicious breakfast with their classmates; presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards accompanied by inspirational speeches from the recipients; and a tour of our state-of-the-art clinical simulation learning lab, featuring the remarkable high-fidelity mannequins.
We were pleased to specifically welcome alumni from the Class of ’87, commemorating their 25th anniversary, and the Class of ’62, celebrating their 50th anniversary. In addition, special mention was made of two members of the Class of ’42 in attendance, Peggy Fuller and Madeleine Cadieux, as they marked their 70th anniversary since graduating from the Faculty. We were joined by alumni from across Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia; the United States, including Kansas, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon; and even an alum who travelled from Germany.
Dean Sioban Nelson extended her gratitude to all the alumni who have shown their commitment to the education of future nurse leaders through their support of our annual fund and student awards program, which distributed more than 160 awards last year. In 1998 the University of Toronto adopted the following statement: “No student offered admission to a program at UofT should be unable to enter or complete the program due to a lack of financial means.” This promise has only been realized with the generous support of our graduates.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually to acknowledge graduates of the Faculty who have made exceptional contributions to nursing. Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by committee. “It’s our very own Academy Awards,” remarked Nelson.