Texas A&M Health Science Center graduates largest nursing class to-date
The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing graduated its largest class to-date on Friday, May 16. The college held commencement ceremonies for 123 students with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees at Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M University campus.
This is the largest class of graduates for the College of Nursing and representative of the college’s growing commitment to providing more baccalaureate nurses for the state of Texas.
The ceremony began with a welcome by Dean Sharon Wilkerson, Ph.D., RN, CNE, followed by stage party introductions by Brett P. Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
Commencement speaker Cyndy Dunlap, RN, MPA, NEA-BC, FACHE, the system Chief Nurse Executive at Baylor Scott &White Memorial Hospital in Temple, spoke about the growing importance of the nursing profession and graduates’ pursuit of success in their career paths.
“You are the first official nursing class to rightfully say that you are a Texas A&M Aggie,” Dunlap said to graduates. “ Live your role with a passion.”
The College of Nursing also presented several awards during the ceremony.
Graduate Helen Cooley, of Midland, TX, was honored with the Advancing the Profession Award, which recognizes a graduating RN-to-B.S.N. student who has shown exceptional growth, creativity and scholarship in the program.
The Community Service Champion Award was presented to graduate Elise Bockoven, of Plano, TX. The awardrecognizes a graduate who has shown outstanding service to the college, the nursing profession and the community.
Graduate Lauren Haire, of Salado, TX, was honored with the Emerging Professional Award. The award is presented to a graduate who demonstrates exemplary professionalism, both in the classroom and in the clinical setting, as well as through participation in student organizations and in service on College committees.
The Dean’s Excellence Award was awarded to graduate Margaret Salzer, of Alvin, TX and to graduate Kenzie Stucki, of Canadian, TX. The award is presented to a\one or two graduates who have reflected the philosophy of the college by a commitment to knowledge, discovery, and service and must rank in the top 25 percent of the class.
The W.F. (Boy) and Johnnie Hasskarl Humanism in Nursing Award was presented to graduate Rosalie Wright, of Cameron, TX. The award is named in honor of Dr. W.F. (Boy) Hasskarl and his wife, Johnnie, who lived in and served the Brenham community for over 90 years. With this award, the Board of Directors of the Hospice Brazos Valley Living Endowment joins the Hasskarl family in honoring Dr. and Mrs. Hasskarl for their service to others. This award honors not only the Hasskarls, but the College of Nursing graduate that exemplifies who exemplifies compassionate, humanistic care and exceptional competency in the art of nursing. In addition to recognition during commencement, the student will receive a plaque and monetary gift.
The Gathright Award was awarded to graduate Kimberly Veazey, of College Station, TX. The award is given by the Association of Former Students in conjunction with the Texas A&M Student Government Association to the senior with the highest grade point ratio from each college. The award was established in 1973 and is named in honor of the university’s first president
A reception in the Rudder Exhibit Hall followed.