Name: Lily Mary Turnbull, R.N., B.N., M.P.H.
Convocation date: May 25, 1988
Discipline / contribution: international service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Lily M. Turnbull, Registered Nurse.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Lily Turnbull was born at Wolseley, Saskatchewan, to pioneers of Scottish origin. She took her public and high schooling at Wolf Creek, Moffat and Wolseley schools, and graduated as a nurse from the Regina General Hospital School of Nursing in 1941. Subsequently she studied at McGill University, De Lee Clinics at the University of Chicago, the University of Toronto, and Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health where she received a masters degree in public health administration. She received a Kellogg Teaching Fellowship for study at the University of Toronto and a World Health Organization Fellowship for study at Johns Hopkins.
As well as working at the Regina General Hospital and Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, she served as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, seeing duty in Canada, England and Northern Europe.
For 24 years Lily was associated with the World Health Organization. She spent 17 years in its Western Pacific Region, five of those years as Team Leader of a field project in Malaysia and 12 years in the Regional Office as Nursing Advisor for an area consisting of over 20 countries and territories. During these years she assisted with the development of nursing education and nursing service programs. She worked with local folk and with governments, assisting them in identifying and achieving health care goals. She moved to Geneva in 1969 and took on the position of Chief Nursing Officer for the World Health Organization. Here she coordinated the six regional offices and acted as nursing representative on a host of organizations.
Lily has received honors from professional and community bodies, including: the National League of Nurses of the Philippines, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, the International Council of Nurses, the YWCA, and was awarded the Centennial Medal in 1967 "in recognition of valuable service to the nation".
Since her retirement from WHO, Lily has served on several short-term projects, including one with our own College. She has been involved with volunteer work in several organizations including her church, Home Care, Meals on Wheels and Palliative Home Care. She was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Association on Gerontology. She has served on many boards and is currently a member of the board of University Hospital.
Through her professional, volunteer and personal life Lily has epitomised her chosen motto which reads: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
We in the College of Nursing are particularly delighted that the University has chosen to honor Lily during the College's golden anniversary year.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Lily Turnbull and ask that you will confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Una Ridley, Dean of Nursing
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