Spring 2021 has finally arrived! The warm sun gives light and added energy; it brings us out of dark days and renews our faith that things will continue to get better. There are signs of new life all around, in yards and gardens, in our states and even in our UF College of Nursing. I hope you are as excited as I for the new Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab that is going strong this semester — the very best for our CON students! If truthful, many of you probably join me in thinking, “wish I were a student now!”
I hope the vaccine has added confidence as you continue to do all that you can to block COVID-19 and help the return to normalcy. I, with all members of the Alumni Council, continue to thank all who have persevered in caring for those with the virus and for all of those volunteering to administer vaccinations throughout Florida, our nation and on military posts outside the U.S.A. YOU are the definition of honor, commitment and caring. YOU truly live out Care, Lead, Inspire — YOU are our heroes!
Gator Nation Giving Day was held earlier this spring. What an awesome response from Alumni Council members and all Gator Nurses. More than 226 individuals made gifts totaling $644,287.17 to the College of Nursing. A special thank you to the Alpha Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau that matched $5,000 in donations and challenged all alumni and friends to give on Giving Day. Thankfully, it is apparent that we all understand that every gift is important, smallest to largest, and helps UF and our College of Nursing. Not only does it supply needed funds to provide the best nursing education for students, but it shows the world that graduates of the UF CON value their education and are grateful for it and for our faculty. As we all respond by giving as we are able, respect for our college increases in the nation and world.
This spring, we also hosted a virtual Rita Kobb Nursing & Health Informatics National Symposium with over400 registrants. It was an exciting day as we learned about “Innovations and Data-powered Health: Precision Nursing at the Point of Care” with presentations from speakers and presenters, including keynote speaker Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, the director of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. A recognized pioneer in the development of innovative information systems and services, Dr. Brennan unites engineering, information technology and clinical care. What a treat for Gator Nurses!
Please join me in welcoming our new Alumni Council leadership: Blair Hebner (BSN 2009) as secretary, David Penoyer (BSN 1973) as treasurer and president-elect Ashley–Marie Bodor (BSN 2014). I am honored to be serving with all as we seek to support and make a difference for our College of Nursing and its students. COVID-19 still threatens lives — BE SAFE, Gator Nurse heroes. ALL Gator Nurses, please educate, mentor and lead in wearing masks, distancing and avoiding crowds.
BSN 1965, MSN 1988