College of Nursing celebrates history and diversity during 50th anniversary


Bryon Black, director of the Kent State Men’s Chorus, directs the chorus at the Kent State Nursing School’s 50th anniversary in Henderson Hall Jan 23, 2017.

Cameron Hoover

Kent State’s College of Nursing held its 50th anniversary celebration Monday at Henderson Hall.

Students and faculty members lined the halls of the college to listen to speeches by President Beverly Warren and Dean of the College of Nursing Dr. Barbara Broome celebrating the college’s historic past, while also looking forward to an exciting future.

President Warren spoke about celebrating the tenacity and spirit of the nursing college during her speech.

“You are a legacy of doers. You get things done,” she said to the hallway packed with members of the nursing college. “You have a legacy of ‘let’s not wait for someone else to have the idea. Let’s have the idea ourselves.’”

Warren also spoke about the importance of diversity within the nursing college, reiterating that this is not just a woman’s profession.

“In my generation, I was told, as a female, you can either teach or be a nurse,” Warren said. “50 years later, I’m proud to say you have so many options before you. Whether you’re male, female, transgender, no matter how you identify yourself, there is a career for you in nursing.”

Dr. Broome agreed with President Warren’s sentiments.

“I can remember when I first graduated with my bachelor’s, the field was pretty well dominated by women,” Broome said. “And now, if you go to any hospital or any emergency room, you will see lots of male nurses. Inclusiveness means males, females, different races, ethnic groups, religious beliefs and lifestyles, and I think that nursing should be a lot more inclusive than it has been. So we want to break the stereotype of it being a woman’s profession. It’s not. It’s for anyone who has a desire to make an impact and change things.”

Keaira Brandon, a senior nursing major, appreciated the fact that President Warren and the nursing college take an advanced approach to diversity.

“As a future nurse, there are so many different options to go into when I graduate,” she said. “Everyone comes from different views, so President Warren hit a lot of good points in her speech.”

President Warren ended her speech talking about her plans for the future of the nursing college.

“I do envision more wings here at Henderson Hall for more students to be able to take part in what we know is the best of nursing education,” Warren said. 

“The College of Nursing had its first graduating class in ‘67. At the time, this building was state-of-the-art. It was wonderful,” Dr. Broome said. “But we’ve really outgrown it when you think of technology. Technology really drives so many of the things that we do in health care and we need to have a building that fully supports that.”

Many appreciated the fact that President Warren attended the celebration and gave a speech for those in attendance. Students said it felt like she legitimately cared about the future of their program.

“It was nice to see that the president took time from her busy schedule to celebrate our 50th birthday,” said Debbie Rho, the RCM manager for the nursing college. “Her speech really embodied the nursing college’s values.”

Even as today was a celebration of the first 50 years of the College of Nursing, Dr. Broome wants to reinforce that the college has no plans of letting up.

“Our goal is that we continue to have programs that impact the health of the community that we live in,” she said. “We want to continue to have graduates that are at the cutting edge of what they do, and that they work in research centers and hospitals and clinics where they can impact the care of all people.”

Cameron Hoover is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at [email protected].