Chicago Woman Speaker Delivers Message
at Exercises on Terrace

Blodgett School of Nursing Graduation)

(Article in the G. R. Press, 23 June 1923, Pg. 19, Column 5.)

"Don’t give up the ship especially when that ship is a human soul." Miss Edna Foley, superintendent of the Visiting Nurses association of Chicago, told nurses of Marion Louise Withey training school at Blodgett hospital Friday evening in an address at commencement exercises of the class of 1923. Several hundred persons attended.

The exercises were held on the terrace back of the hospital. Graduates and speakers were seated on an elevation at one end of the terrace and an amplifier aided in carrying the words to the audience.

March to Places

The exercises were preceded by a processional of the graduates and other student nurses of the training school, who marched from the lodge at the right of the hospital while an orchestra played.

John Duffe?, president of the board of trustees, presided at the exercises. Rev B. P. T. Sargent of Grace Episcopal church pronounced the invocation. Mrs. Reuben Maurits sang two solos.

Loyalties was the subject of Miss Foley’s address. First she discussed professional loyalty and then she said: "But these are bigger loyalties even than that of one’s profession. Professional loyalty must be supported by those other loyalties which include loyalty to family, to country and to spiritual faith. A nurse’s work is too difficult for her to keep on with it unless she has some kind of spiritual faith. She could not go over the top as many times as she does without it."

Nursing Education Valuable

The speaker stressed the value of a nurses’ training as a preparation for life. "We hear a great deal about the shortage of nurses," she said. "If parents were truly loyal citizens they never would oppose the wishes of a daughter who desires to enter the nursing profession. Likewise, a nurse who is truly loyal to the public will share with it the advantages of her training. Nursing education is valuable even if one never uses it professionally. It makes one a better wife, mother or teacher.

"Sixty years ago there was not a graduate nurse anywhere in the world, and those who were called nurses, instead of being the cultured, refined women the nursing profession demands today, often were illiterate. The same conditions exist even today in Italy where nurses are organized into unions which strike on small pretest. Over there they do not take the responsibility for the recovery of their patients and are so indifferent that the rich send to England for a nurse when one is needed. The American Red Cross unit which went to Italy taught the Italians many things about nursing."

Take Nightingale Pledge

Diplomas were presented by Mr. Duffy. Miss Mary A. Welsh, who has returned to Blodgett hospital as superintendent of nurses; pinned the badge of their profession on the young women. She also led them in the Florence Nightingale pledge to observe the ethics of nursing. A reception and dance in the nurses lodge followed the exercises.

The graduates were: Mildred Adgate, Hazel Myrtelle Barclay, Ethel Borden Bennett, Sarah Johanna Boven, Tillie Butler, Osta Boyd, Anna Josephine Brown, Marah S. Brill, Lisetta Corporan, Georgia Marian Davis, Cornelia DeYoung, Hattie Horndorp, Inez Hunter, Castelene Kemano, Frieda Roberta Knoer, Margaret Larson, Irene – Lindee Torchter?/Lachter?, Laura May Mokma, Minnie VanLoo, Catherine VanZytveld, Deborah Henrietta Veneklasen, Marguerite White and Mary A. Floyd. The last mentioned nurse was ill and unable to participate in the exercise.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 19 September 2006