Throughout the planning process for the College of Nursing’s 40th Anniversary Gala, it became clear the purpose of the event was not simply to celebrate the past. Highlighting the future of Valparaiso University’s CoN was deemed equally important. And by all accounts, the 40th anniversary gala, which took place Feb. 7 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, succeeded on all levels.
“It was a true celebration of the past, present and future of the College of Nursing,” CoN Dean Janet Brown says.
The theme for the evening, attended by more than 200, was “Nursing is the Artful Use of Science.” Renowned Chicago improvisational group Second City provided the entertainment. Cynthia Vlasich, director of the International Leadership Institute and Educational Resources for Sigma Theta Tau International, served as master of ceremonies.
“I was very pleased by the turnout and by the enthusiasm that was generated by the event,” says Associate Professor of Nursing Nola Schmidt ’83, who was a member of the gala planning committee. “It was really exciting to see a nice mix of students, faculty, alumni and generally people who are friends of the College of Nursing. What a great way for people to celebrate.”
With some “inside knowledge” from Brown, the Second City troupe kept the laughter flowing for those in attendance.
“We had a blast,” Brown says. “People were laughing, and I mean moving-around-in-chairs laughing.”
The evening afforded alumni and friends the opportunity to share old stories. And with about 30 CoN students on hand, representing the future of the college, the next 40 years already is being cast.
“In today’s economic environment,” says Assistant Professor of Nursing Julie Koch ’98 M.S., also a member of the planning committee, “the CoN is positioned to not only survive, but to excel.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Guests take part in the festivities at the College of Nursing 40th Anniversary Gala on Feb. 7 at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.