the day of the nursing school building dedication, no one was prouder
than Little Nell, shown here with the portrait of her auntand
namesake, Nell Hodgson Woodruff.
President William Chace (second from left), Dean Marla Salmon (third from
left), and others participated in the building dedication.
White (above left) and Lola Parks enjoy the view from the Selma Richardson
bench on the nursing school plaza. Richardson was a member of The Associates,
as is Parks. The organization is comprised of friends from outside the
nursing school who provide scholarships for students. White is the sister-in-law
of Richardson, who passed away in 1999.
Getz, 52N, 58MN (above left), Martha Blackwell, 52N, Carolyn Snelling,
52N, and Doris Barnette, 53N, 56MN, pose happily outside the plaza entrance
to the School of Nursing building.
Woody (left), former interim dean of the School of Nursing, and Frances
Childre, 81N, immediate past president of the Nurses Alumni Association,
were among those who shared in celebrating the new building.
Johnson, chair of Emorys Board of Trustees, hosted the dedication
ceremony for the School of Nursing. The board played a key role by approving
donation of the land and
university funding to construct the facility.
Marla Salmon and Emory President William Chace proudly took part in the
dedication ceremony that marks the beginning of a new era in Emory nursing.
nursing school building would not be possible without the help of many
supporters, including Elaine and Byrne Litschgi. The couple made a donation
to name the admissions suite for their daughter, Kathleen Litschgi McElwaney,
When you enter the
plaza level of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the first
thing you see is a stunning portrait of Mrs. Woodruff, the gentle volunteer
who worked tirelessly on behalf of Emory nursing. The painting captures
a vibrant, dark-haired young woman in a flowing red dress and a long,
elegant strand of pearls. If you stand before the image long enough, you
can feel her presence in the new state-of-the art home for Emory nursing.
Her spirit was especially strong on the day the building was dedicated
as Little NellMrs. Woodruffs niece and namesaketook
the stage with her sunny voice and contagious smile. Isnt
this marvelous? Nell Woodruff Hodgson Watt asked those gathered
in the schools sparkling Alumni Auditorium.
Indeed it was. Emory President William Chace was among those who had come
to celebrate a place where tradition and opportunity merge gracefully.
Coming together in this facility are the best of our past, our dreams
for the future, and our commitment to nursing and its very special place
in the academy, said Chace.
He noted proudly that the School of Nursing at 1520 Clifton Road is the
first project completed under the campus master plan, developed by Ayers/Saint/Gross
of Baltimore. Stang & Newdow, the architect, used several design elements
from the plans scheme for creating a pedestrian environment and
style reminiscent of Henry Hornbostel, Emorys original architect.
High, arched doorways outlined in marble, large windows, and a red tile
roof characterize the five-story building, three of which are visible
from Clifton Road. A three-story educational pavilion projects from the
back of the main structure and opens onto a landscaped courtyard with
a brick pathway leading to the main campus. Throughout the building are
furnishings and pieces from the schools previous homes (including
Harris Hall and 531 Asbury Circle), the Crawford Long School of Nursing
(now closed), and the Woodruff family.
The new facility also marks the culmination of a vision to integrate nursing
more fully into the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). The 100,000-square-foot
building is the cornerstone of Emorys medical research complex,
spread along the Clifton Corridor. Outside, the school is linked, underground
and by pedestrian walkway, to the Grace Crum Rollins Public Health Building
(located next door), the O. Wayne Rollins Research Center, the Joseph
P. Whitehead Medical Research Building (which opens in November), and
the dental school building, which houses the Health Sciences Center Library.
Inside, the new auditorium and classrooms can accommodate nearly 700 students
from nursing, public health, and medicine. Rollins School of Public Health
also has office space in the building, promoting greater interdisciplinary
study and interaction among students and faculty.
The idea for the structure emerged 10 years ago as nursing and WHSC leaders
considered what the school needed to enrich and expand nursing practice
and scholarship. At the time, nursing education was based in the 531 Asbury
Circle building, designed in the late 1960s with an emphasis on
traditional hospital-based practice and graduate programs in administration
and teaching. What was needed, leaders decided, was a doctoral program
to promote research and new space for up-to-date clinical instruction,
scholarship, and new faculty. After much discussion and study, a building
site was selected, and Emory University Hospital agreed to purchase the
531 Asbury Circle building. Financing for construction was secured with
the building purchase, matching funds from the university, and support
from organizations and individuals. The university also provided the land.
This is the right building, the right size and construction, situated
in the right place, said Ronnie Jowers, vice president for health
affairs, at the dedication. We also have the right dean. I suspect
we would never have been able to recruit a leader of Marla Salmons
capabilities and reputation if we had not put into place the key ingredients
of a doctoral program, research space, and a building. Shes got
it all now, and she has already begun the charge to the future.
Shaping world citizens in nursing
In the days leading up to the dedication, Salmon and others gave considerable
thought to the purpose and meaning of their new building. First,
and perhaps most important, this building is being dedicated to the vision,
spirit, and commitment of Nell Hodgson Woodruff, said Salmon. She
loved nursing, and she cherished this school in particular. Her abiding
belief in the good that nursing does and the importance of educating superb
nurses is already very much a part of our daily lives here.
This is a place that is designed to welcome and support those who
have chosen nursing as a career and an avenue for making a difference
in the lives of others, Salmon continued. The classrooms,
laboratories, state-of-the-art educational technology, gathering places,
student lounge, Crawford Long Room, and our own Alumni Conference Room
and offices are all tangible evidence of the true purpose of this buildingto
serve our current, past, and future students.
Like Salmon, nursing senior Melissa Page Dramstad had weighed the significance
of the facility and its location. From the sidewalk, the facade
says this is an important building, but it is much more than that,
she said. It signifies the crucial role that our profession plays
in the achievement of health and wellness for all.
We also live beside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and the American Cancer Society, Dramstad added. Inevitably,
this closeness will allow for enhanced relationships with our colleagues
across the disciplines.
There definitely is ample space for learning. The educational pavilion
has a lecture hall for 160 (the Alumni Auditorium, built with funds raised
by the Nurses Alumni Association), a case-study room for 124, and two
70-seat classrooms. A second-story classroom is named in honor of workers
with Holder Construction Company, the building contractor. The plaza entrance
on the back of the building leads to the admissions suite (named for Kathleen
Litschgi McElwaney, 84N, by her parents) and opens onto a grand foyer
These arched wooden doors (above) come from the Crawford Long Hospital
School of Nursing, which closed several years ago. Alumni from this
school are honored with a meeting room named in their honor on the
plaza level. The board room for Emory nursing alumni (below) is
adjacent to the alumni relations area and the larger Nell Hodgson
Woodruff Board Room.
Adjacent to the foyer is the Ada Fort Student Lounge (honoring the dean
who led the nursing school from 1950 to 1975 and given by Kay Chitty,
65N, 68MN, and her husband Charles) and the Center for Caring Skills.
Here, faculty can instruct students in clinical skills, using the latest
hospital and simulation equipment and an examination and consultation
suite designed for patient privacy. The center has eight hospital beds,
donated by Hill-Rom, their manufacturer.
Technologically, the building takes full advantage of new educational
approaches. Teaching-learning areas are designed to use computer technology
and facilitate distance learning. An interactive learning center complements
classroom and simulation facilities. On the third floor, faculty offices
are located next to research project spaces for ease of collaboration.
The new School of Nursing building is definitely a place where students
can enhance their clinical expertise in the Center for Caring Skills.
The center includes the latest simulation equipment to teach students
how to care for patients from infancy to adulthood. Here, rising
senior Richard-Fils Onguene learns how to check a patients
On the top floor, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff Board Room and the Alumni
Board Room overlook the Emory campus and the Atlanta skyline. A common
reception area serves the board rooms and the office of the dean. Office
floors at the top of the building are linked by an interior stairway visible
through the classic arched window from Clifton Road.
The top floor of the nursing school houses administrative offices
and meeting rooms, including the Nell Hodgson Woodruff Board Room.
This spacious room honors Mrs. Woodruffs contributions to
nursing and is
furnished with items from the past, such as the fireplace, a replica
of the one from the Crawford Long School of Nursing.
Most important, the $22 million nursing building is contributing to what
former Emory President James Laney calls the education of the heartforming
and shaping the whole person with virtues and values and not just techniques
and skills. This education is a vital part of Emory University,
and it is a core of our nursing education, said Rebecca Chopp, PhD,
university provost. This building will carry forth this tradition
by providing conventional spaces for education and specially designed
spaces to form and shape these citizens of the worldnurses who can
live out their education of the heart.
A memorable housewarming
On the day of the dedication, Little Nell came brimming with enthusiasm
and a generous bundle of housewarming gifts. The nursing school now has
two portraits of Mrs. Woodruff by Elizabeth Shoumatoff (her unfinished
portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which she was painting when he died,
hangs at the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia), along with
Mrs. Woodruffs portrait in her red dress, painted by an artist for
Coca-Cola. All are copies of the originals. Little Nell also donated the
Bornin Tree, a framed collection made by her cousin,
Martha Ellis. It shows Mrs. Woodruff in her nurses aide uniform, surrounded
by a photo of each baby (some of them grown) she cared for when Emory
Hospital had a maternity ward.
Guests like Martha Ellis are welcome to linger in front of the
display cases featuring special mementos from Emorys nursing
history. Ellis is a niece of Nell Hodgson Woodruff and made the
Bornin Tree on display in the student lounge.
Weve come a long way, baby. Edith Honeycutt, 39N, and Christie
Hauck, 38N, dressed up for the dedication by wearing nursing uniforms
from different periods of the 20th century.
Little Nell donated several items to the School of Nursing, including
Mrs. Woodruffs china and a 1918 receipt for a $30 pledge to
Emory, a punch bowl given by The Coca-Cola Company to Robert Woodruff,
and the Bornin Tree, made by Martha Ellis, Little Nells
Little Nell had more surprises: A journal that Mrs. Woodruff kept as a
nursing volunteer to young World War I soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Her wedding china. A receipt for the $30 she and her husband pledged to
Emory shortly after they married. The baby bath tubthe
magnificent silver punch bowl presented to Robert by The Coca-Cola Company.
And various personal papers, including a valentine that Robert wrote to
his wife in 1918. But Little Nell saved the best for last.
I know Nana loves each one of you, and I know that she is beaming
down right nowthey both areon this wonderful occasion,
Little Nell told students at the dedication. Please feel her love
and her encouragement every time you come in this building.
The last time she was here when we had the groundbreaking for the
first building (on Asbury Circle in 1968), she blew a kiss. It was from
her, and this is from her and me.
With that, Little Nell repeated the gesture that still touches the heart
of an entire school and the generations of Emory nurses to come.
Little Nell throws a kiss from her and her Aunt Nana, whose presence
could be felt during the dedication celebration.
a new building requires vision, planning, financing, and countless hours
of worry and labor on the part of many. The university provided the land
and half of the $22 million cost of the new School of Nursing building,
with the rest financed through the sale of the former nursing school building
to Emory University Hospital and the generosity of many donors. Special
plaques hang throughout the new building to honor these supporters, which
include the Metropolitan Community Foundation, The Associates, Kay and
Charles Chitty, Elizabeth Edwards, Ruby Hargis, The Hill-Rom Corporation,
Holder Construction Company, Byrne and Elaine Litschgi, the Margulis family
and friends, the Nurses Alumni Association, the Ida A. Ryan Trust, and
Nell and Robert Watt.