50th Anniversary Timeline

Anniversary Timeline

1969 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • The 61st session of the Texas Legislature passes House Bill 75 and companion bill, Senate Bill 83, to establish The University of Texas Nursing School in Bexar County in response to a nursing shortage. The San Antonio school was part of The University of Texas System School of Nursing, along with schools in Arlington, Austin, El Paso, Galveston and Houston.
  • Margretta Styles, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, becomes the first dean.

1970 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • In January, the first four students—two students who had completed the prerequisite clinical course in nursing fundamentals at UT Austin and two British nurses who audited the course in preparation for the Texas licensure exam—started class with the four founding faculty members.
  • In the summer session, the first 12 students, who would take all their nursing courses on the San Antonio campus, enroll in the Nursing Fundamentals course.
  • In the fall semester, course offerings includes Public Health Science, Community Health Nursing, Medical/Surgical Nursing, and Psychiatric Nursing. The school now boasts 16 faculty members and 42 students.


  • At the first commencement, 13 students earn their B.S.N. on May 15 at a joint UT System ceremony at the Batts Hall Auditorium on the UT Austin campus.
  • The first student body organization is formed.


  • The Statewide Committee on Continuing Education in Nursing designates the School of Nursing as responsible for the continuing education needs of nurses in South Texas.
  • The second commencement occurs on May 12 with 43 B.S.N. graduates: two students from August 1971, 10 students from December 1971, and 31 students from May 1972.
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the new nursing facility to be constructed in the South Texas Medical Center.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing degree program begins in the fall with 28 students.


  • Patty L. Hawken, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, becomes the second dean.
  • The School of Nursing moves into a new $3.8 million facility.
  • The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Program opens. It is one of the first in the country to be approved by the American Nurses Association, made possible by funding from the Kellogg Foundation. With Ruth Stewart as director and Rosemary Goodyear as assistant director, the program opened in the fall with 10 students who were nurses working primarily in rural areas or with poverty-stricken populations.


  • Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, former First Lady of the United States, is the featured speaker at the dedication ceremonies for the School of Nursing building.


  • UT System School of Nursing is dissolved. On Sept. 1, the School of Nursing officially becomes part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
  • The School of Nursing establishes one of the first flexible programs in the country to enable non-traditional students to earn their nursing degrees. The National League for Nursing commends the school on the Flexible Process.


  • The Routine Obstetrical Clinic becomes operational. This nurse-run prenatal care facility was conceived and implemented through the joint efforts of the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and the Bexar County Hospital District.

1983 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • The Nursing Advisory Council (NAC) is founded.
  • The M.S.N. in Nursing Administration is developed, giving students the opportunity to develop into nurse leaders.


  • A huge need for critical care nurses is filled by the School of Nursing’s M.S.N. Critical Care Track, one of the first in the country.
  • The first ROTC cadet enrolls in the School of Nursing.


  • The School of Nursing’s first study abroad program takes three students—Bernadette Pawelek (B.S.N., Class of 1987), Yolanda Jimenez (B.S.N., Class of 1986), and Sheila Weiss (M.S.N., Class of 1986) and faculty member Ruth Stewart, M.S., RNC—to Australia.


  • A Ph.D. program in clinical research is approved by The UT System Board of Regents.


  • A new program enables eligible students to earn a B.S.N. degree while earning an M.S.N. degree.
  • The Helene Fuld Student Computer lab, the first computer lab in the school, opens. The Macintosh lab is established with funds secured from the Helene Fuld Foundation by Dr. Jo Ann Crow.

1990 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • School of Nursing’s proposal to establish a nursing program at UT Pan American is approved.
  • The School of Nursing receives the $200,000 Thelma and Joe Crow Endowed Professorship in Nursing. Dr. Mary Matteson is named the first recipient.


  • Faculty and students answer the call to serve in Operation Desert Storm.
  • Wealtha McGurn, Ph.D., RN, and Mary Ann Matteson, Ph.D., RN, receive the school’s first National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. Dr. McGurn’s grant provides funding for an Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Health Promotion in Minority Adolescents and provides opportunities for collaboration with other faculty and doctoral students. Dr. Matteson’s grant funds the study of behaviors associated with dementia.
  • In conjunction with the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in southeast San Antonio, the School of Nursing becomes the first in the nation to offer an elective in Hyperbaric Therapy.
  • First information technology courses in the school are taught by Drs. Elaine Graveley and Kathleen Stevens. At that time, neither faculty nor students had office computers or university email accounts.


  • The Nursing Advisory Council creates the $100,000 Endowed Professorship
    in Oncology Nursing and establishes a fund for use by Ph.D. students.
  • The School of Nursing is awarded a $100,000 Helene Fuld Health Trust Grant to establish an electronic classroom, initiate interactive video programs, and update undergraduate computer facilities.
  • The Nurses’ Prenatal Clinic (originally the Routine Obstetrical Clinic) completes
    15 years of service to women in San Antonio.


  • Jane Dimmitt is the first Ph.D. student to graduate from the School of Nursing.


  • Groundbreaking is held for the School of Nursing building expansion. Almost 200 nurse leaders, faculty, students and community members gather to celebrate.


  • An outreach Doctoral Program in Nursing is implemented in conjunction with the School of Nursing at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
  • Faculty and students move into the 41,600-square-foot expansion building. The expansion allowed the school to increase student enrollment.


  • Dr. Hawken retires after 23 years as dean.
  • A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner major for the M.S.N. is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Janet Allan, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, assumes the role of dean.


  • Professor Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, founds Juntos Podemos after observing that Hispanic students completed the nursing program at lower rates than their peers. The program uses mentoring to provide support to students and reduce the negative effects of social and educational disparities.

2000 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • The UT Health Science Center Executive Committee approves two School of Nursing initiatives: the Center for Violence Prevention led by Margaret Brackley, Ph.D., FAAN, FAANP, and the Center for Evidence-Based Nursing led by Kathleen Stevens, Ed.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN.
  • The School of Nursing joins with Texas A&M University-Kingsville to offer a new B.S.N. at the TAMUK System Center Palo Alto campus.


  • The Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children is established under an endowment from Texas First Lady and alumna Anita Thigpen Perry, M.S.N., Class of 1977, and Governor Rick Perry.
  • The School of Nursing signs an agreement with St. Mary’s University in San Antonio to provide early admission to outstanding students interested in a nursing career.


  • From 2002 through 2009, the Michigan En San Antonio (MESA) Center represents a partnership with the University of Michigan School of Nursing that focused on research related to health disparities. It was funded by the National Institute of Nursing.


  • A Nursing Alumni Council Scholarship Fund is established by the School of Nursing Alumni Council to fund alumni and student activities.
  • The School of Nursing achieves the ranking of 35th nationwide and second in the state of Texas for receipt of NIH research dollars.


  • Robin Froman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is appointed dean.


  • Hurricane Katrina devastates the Gulf Coast and thousands of evacuees come to San Antonio for temporary shelter and care. Nursing faculty and students spend countless hours at local shelters helping to care for displaced individuals and families.


  • The School of Nursing opens a Student Health Center to provide health care services to all students on campus.
  • The School of Nursing partners with AVANCE-San Antonio and begins providing free health care services to children in the Early Head Start program.


  • Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is appointed dean.


  • Since 1995, more than 5,000 refugees have been resettled in San Antonio by the Archdiocese of San Antonio Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. Many reside near the South Texas Medical Center. Recognizing this population’s need for accessible health care, Community Health Nursing faculty member Roseann Vivanco, M.S.N., RN, establishes the Population Health Nursing Clinic. The NAC awards Ms. Vivanco a grant, allowing the clinic to purchase health screening equipment and supplies.

2010 - 50th Anniversary Timeline

  • Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. presents the School of Nursing with a $3.9 million gift to anchor a new nursing education pipeline.
  • Because of outcomes from the MESA Center, Carrie Jo Braden, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, associate dean for research, is awarded a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of General Sciences (part of the NIH) for Mechanisms for Enhancing Scholarly Achievements. The project provided support for interdisciplinary graduate student research scholar participation through 2016.
  • The Employee Health and Wellness Center is established. The clinic provides employees with comprehensive health and wellness services, as well as monthly health promotion and disease prevention initiatives.


  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves the new Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree program.
  • The Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital begins hosting a Dedicated Education Unit, improving clinical experiences for students.
  • The Department of Continuing Education is renamed the Department of Lifelong Learning to reflect the philosophy that learning is lifelong and self-directed.
  • A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates the opening of the $3.8 million Center for Simulation Innovation. The 7,281-square-foot clinical simulation center features specialty rooms, simulation manikins, and video recording capacity to provide near-real clinical experiences.


  • Dean Breslin signs a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


  • The Student Success Center receives a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The funding allows the Student Success Center to expand its undergraduate student development and research programs, bolster faculty enrichment modules, enhance student enrichment services, and hire additional staff members.
  • The Summer Undergraduate Nursing Research Immersion Experience (SUNRISE) program is created. Students work alongside faculty to conduct original research and are included in peer-reviewed publications.


  • School of Nursing conducts Youth Leadership Air Quality Academy for 30 adolescents attending summer programs on the east and west sides of San Antonio at Good Samaritan Community Center, Healthy Futures of Texas and the Martinez Street Women’s Center.
  • The School of Nursing and Texas A&M University-San Antonio sign affiliation agreement to provide A&M-SA students two options to gain acceptance to UT Health. Students can complete their prerequisites at A&M-SA and then transfer to UT Health to finish their B.S.N. or they can complete their bachelor’s degree at A&M-SA and then enter an accelerated B.S.N. program at UT Health.
  • The Caring for the Caregiver program hosts the inaugural Community Academic Forum. Since then, the program has expanded to include Essentials of Caregiving classes, Caregiver Skills Training Workshops, and Memory Cafés.
  • Thanks to a $200,000 donation from singer Paul Simon, co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund; his wife, singer Edie Brickell; and the Children’s Health Fund, the School of Nursing provides vital health care services to Texas Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Harvey.


  • On January 22, the School of Nursing started leading the efforts of the South Texas Area Health Education Centers Program, which is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) with matching state money. The five-year, $500,000 per year commitment of federal and state funding will allow the nursing school to use a multi-pronged, multi-partner approach to improve residents’ access to competent and quality primary health care by recruiting qualified health professionals to work in underserved areas.
  • A partnership between Texas A&M International University in Laredo and UT Health San Antonio offers a new certificate nursing program to address the severe shortage of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in South Texas.
  • Assistant Professor Lisa Cleveland, Ph.D., RN, CPNP, IBCLC, NTMNC, is awarded two Texas Health & Human Services Commission grants totaling more than $4 million to educate Bexar County’s first responders on identifying and reversing opioid overdose.
    School of Nursing receives $2.5 million grant to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a primary care specialty. The grant allows Norma Martinez-Rogers, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, principal investigator, to revise the nursing school’s curricula to put more emphasis on primary care nursing with the goal of increasing the number of RNs who practice in community-based primary care clinics.


  • The School of Nursing begins a new tradition of hosting a white coat ceremony for incoming Traditional B.S.N. students. Intended for first-year students, the ceremony welcomes students to the health care practice.
  • The Center on Smart and Connected Health Technologies opens in the nursing school. The center is dedicated to researching innovative health solutions that are technology based in the home and in the clinical patient setting.

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