Letter from the Dean: July, 2020

Dr. Sylvia Brown

Dear Friends,

Happy 60th anniversary to the College of Nursing! How far we have come as a profession and as a school since the first nursing students began classes at East Carolina College in the fall of 1960. It is amazing to reflect on the past and to anticipate a bright and productive future. I look forward to celebrating with you and honoring the accomplishments of our school, students, alumni, faculty and staff. This special time brings with it opportunities to reconnect and share memories with classmates and colleagues.

Our plans for reconnecting for the college’s 60th anniversary have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. But with true Pirate Nurse spirit, we will not let this squelch our celebrations. While we would like to visit face to face, we now plan to do this virtually. We will be hosting several virtual class meetings from different decades to reconnect classmates and faculty and to learn about things going on in the College of Nursing. During Homecoming weekend, October 16-17, we will have a virtual “coast-to-coast toast” to celebrate together. There are lots of exciting plans to celebrate, so please stay tuned as we communicate with you through e-mail and social media outlets.

During these times when our events and activities are taking on new looks, it’s important to pause and once again acknowledge the tremendous work our faculty and students have put into course work and clinical care. Operating normally during a pandemic is no small task, and our college has responded with grace and grit. Some of our students returned to clinical rotations in May and June with expanded PPE in place, and faculty have worked tirelessly to continue course work in web-based formats. I have been so fortunate to witness nurse leaders respond in extraordinary and exceptional ways in the face of extremely uncommon circumstances.

That same dedication is focused now on a carefully created return to campus for our college community. Those decisions are being made using the input of those in the college, university and UNC System leaders as well as health experts, in order to keep everyone safe as the COVID-19 crisis continues. We will share more information as it evolves.

Since 1960, we have built the reach and success of our college on the dreams of those who came before us. The mission of the College of Nursing has remained steadfast over the years, focusing on transforming the health of rural underserved regions through excellence and innovation in nursing education, leadership, research, scholarship and practice. You will see great examples of this in our newsletter. What a great time to celebrate our legacy during the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Warmest regards,
Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE, ANEF Dean & Professor