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College of Nursing Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Weekend Festivities

Opening Reception and Lecture, All Years' Reunion and Gala….were you there? Over 300 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College came together May 22nd – 24th to take part in a weekend of 75th Anniversary celebrations. "When we started planning this anniversary, we knew there would be a lot of interest, but we never dreamt we would have so many people come back to campus to help us celebrate. We had alumni from New York to British Columbia; from Nevada to the Yukon," said College Relations Officer Anna Pacik. "I think I speak on behalf of everyone on the 75th Anniversary Steering Committee when I say 'wow, what a weekend!'".

Celebrations kicked off Thursday evening with an opening reception at the University Club, followed by a very intriguing guest lecture about the power and potential of leadership delivered by presenter Dr. Ginette Lemire Rodger at Convocation Hall. The evening also included a tribute to the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan (NEPS) to celebrate the collaborative partnerships and shared vision of the partners (University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing, First Nations University of Canada, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology and the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association) who shaped and delivered the very successful NEPS program, which accepted the last group of nursing students in 2010.

Friday was an opportunity for classmates to come together in their own class organized events. Some classes got together over a meal; others for an afternoon at a classmate's house. Alumni who brought their spouses and families took this opportunity to show them the city and introduce them to long lost friends.

Residence, skills labs and classrooms may not look the same as when some of our alumni attended nursing school, but Saturday was an opportunity for alumni and friends to experience the facilities that current nursing students have access to. Over 120 people came out to tour the new Health Sciences Building, with stops in the Clinical Learning Resource Centre (CLRC), state-of-the-art classrooms, collaborative learning spaces, the Health Sciences Library and the fourth floor, home to the College of Nursing. In the CLRC, tour guests viewed high fidelity simulation mannequins, medium fidelity mannequins and simulation models that students use in simulation suites and procedure labs. During the stop on the College of Nursing floor, visitors were awe-struck as they watched a video on the use of Remote Presence technology to deliver undergraduate nursing education in Northern Saskatchewan. "Completely amazing, outstanding technology and unbelievable" were just a few of the comments following the video. 

Festivities Thursday, Friday and during the day on Saturday were enjoyed by many, but the biggest celebration took place Saturday evening with the final 75th Anniversary Gala. Over 300 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College were on campus to celebrate. The evening was kicked-off with a nursing research poster presentation and entertainment by the Saskatoon String Ensemble, followed by dinner and program.  (Acting) Dean, Dr. Lois Berry welcomed guests and Executive Director Dr. Karen Eisler brought greetings on behalf of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association. 

Guests were treated to a variety of entertainment throughout the evening. Nursing students from the Regina Campus started it off with a nursing cheer from 1959-1963 and nursing song, "Old Black Band". Alumna Kasandra LeRand gave an outstanding tribute to the Post Registration BSN program and Mr. Steven Lewis, President, Access Consulting, Ltd., delivered an incredible keynote address on the unique contributions nurses make to health care on behalf of those who access the system and the future opportunities nurses must embrace to make health care equitable and accessible to all. But the highlight of the evening, which left attendees laughing for hours, was the extremely entertaining "Nursing Throughout the Years" skit performed by Regina nursing students. The evening then concluded on a celebratory note with recognition of alumni years and the announcement of the 75th Anniversary Alumni of Influence Honourees.

"On behalf of the College of Nursing, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our 75th Anniversary Steering Committee, who have volunteered their time and provided the input and creativity for this celebration of nursing education," said Acting Dean Dr. Lois Berry. "I would also like to thank the many volunteers who helped prepare for the wonderful celebrations and to our alumni, staff, faculty, students and friends of the college, thank you for coming out and making these anniversary celebrations a huge success."

For more alumni information, including upcoming events, volunteering and giving, click here.