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Nursing Graduates Continue Pinning Tradition

Nursing GraduatesIn a long-standing tradition of welcoming graduating nursing students into the nursing profession, the University of St. Thomas School of Nursing held the Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 14. The event recognized UST’s first class of nurses to graduate since the nursing school reopened in 2012 after a 26-year hiatus.

The Pinning Ceremony, held in the UST Jerabeck Gym, was part of a Mass of Thanksgiving in which 27 nursing graduates, School of Nursing faculty, administrators, members of the Founders Nursing Society, area hospital administrators and other nurses were present to celebrate the rite of passage from student to professional nurse. These groups formed an honor guard at the end of the ceremony, lining both sides of the path as the graduates processed to the applause of family and friends. 

School of Nursing flagDr. Angelina Chambers, associate dean of the School of Nursing, said the pins the nurses received identify them with UST. To connect the graduates with those who came before them, the pins were carried into the ceremony on a silver tray that once belonged to the St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing, the first nursing program in Houston.

The Rev. Mike Buentello, CSB, said during his homily that the students have chosen not just a profession, but a vocation of healing. He called on the nurses to “love one another” as God has loved them.

He also praised the dean, Dr. Poldi Tschirch, saying the school selected the right person to redevelop the nursing program. Dr. Tschirch was recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Nurses in the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses.

UST President Dr. Robert Ivany said the School of Nursing was built on the faith of supporters like Carol and Odis Peavy, who gave the first donation to the school to begin the nursing program. They, along with Tschirch and Ivany, also received UST nursing pins.

Dr. Poldi TschirchAt the end of the ceremony, the students thanked School of Nursing staff members Geny Moreno, director of the Nursing Success Center, and Lesley Paulsen, coordinator, for all they did to help the students along the way. They also thanked Tschirch, showing their appreciation with a donation to the Robert and Ann Tschirch Endowed Nursing Scholarship, named for Tschirch’s parents, with the hope that it will benefit future nurses.

The nursing students are among 298 undergraduates and 739 graduates who will graduate at the University’s 64th Commencement Ceremony at Reliant Stadium on May 17.

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