Southeastern nursing program to celebrate 50th anniversary with gala

Monday, September 8, 2014 Nursing celebrates fifty years
by: Rene Abadie

PREPARING TO CELEBRATE – Southeastern Louisiana University School of Nursing administrators, faculty and students are preparing to celebrate the program's 50th anniversary at a gala planned for Oct. 10. Pictured under a banner announcing the Golden Anniversary are, front row, from left, students and faculty Sian Poirrier, Alwyn Payadue, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Ann Carruth, Warren Locke and Miesha Williams; second row, from left, Sydney Joffray, Catherine Johns, Cassidy Sanchez, Julia White, Whitney Curry, faculty member Terry Compton, and Devin Vernon; third row, from left, faculty member Michelle Reed, Shelly Spann, Kammy Gerkin, and Justin Montalbano.

HAMMOND – When Southeastern Louisiana University initiated its nursing program, it was designed to meet the growing health care needs of the north shore area.

The objective holds true today, 50 years later. What started out as a barebones program with only three graduates in its inaugural class has evolved into its own School of Nursing that now offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Nearly 4,200 graduates have been educated with the knowledge and skills to enter the healthcare field.

To celebrate its golden anniversary, the School of Nursing, in cooperation with the Southeastern Alumni Association, is sponsoring a gala celebration on Friday, Oct. 10. The ticketed event will be held in the Grand Ballroom on the third floor of the new addition to the Student Union. A social hour at 6 p.m. will start the evening followed by a short program and an evening of celebration ending at 9 p.m.

"We are inviting all our alumni and current students, our former members of the faculty, staff and friends of the university and the School of Nursing to join us as we look back over the past 50 years," said Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and a 1984 graduate of the school.

The event, she said, will feature memorabilia of the history of the school, a brief program highlighting the history and major accomplishments over the years and recognition of "50 for 50," a listing of distinguished nursing alumni from both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

The event will also include a silent auction featuring items from various vendors and donors and a unique painting created by Southeastern nursing graduate Dayna Moreno Breaud, a school nurse with the Tangipahoa Parish School System. A commemorative poster of the painting, special t-shirts, gift items and an illustrated history of the nursing program will also be available.

Carruth said Ponchatoula artist and art instructor Kim Howes Zabbia has also created an outdoor "quilt block" commemorating the anniversary that will on display at the event. The quilt, which will be part of the Louisiana Quilt Trail, will eventually be placed on the east side of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Building facing North Oak Avenue.

Sponsors for the celebration include Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Champion Level; North Oaks Health System, Leader Level; Hurst Review Services, Caregivers Level; and CARE Inc., Louisiana Heart Hospital, Woman's Hospital and St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Friends Level.

Tickets are $40 per person and $25 for students. More information can be obtained by calling the office of the Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences at 985-549-5179 or on the School of Nursing website,

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