Class of 1971 UW Madison School of Nursing

Celebrate the Class of 1971

Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. It’s truly incredible to think about how fast 50 years have gone by! Whether you’re still practicing, teaching, volunteering, or conducting research, you all deserve to take a bow and congratulate yourselves for making a difference in the world.

Your class experienced tremendous change during your nursing education—both on campus and throughout the world. You witnessed Vietnam War protests and the lowering of the voting age to 18, while preparing to begin your nursing careers. The School of Nursing will host a variety of virtual programs and social hours to celebrate during the month of September.

Couldn’t celebrate with us in September? Watch the event recordings below!

All-campus reunion events will also take place October 14 to 17.

Celebrate Your Class

Share your memories and photos with us by completing the class survey. We’d like to include you!

Share Your Story

More from the Class of 1971

Class of 1971 UW Madison School of Nursing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Remarks from the Celebration Committee

The six of us came together in partnership with the School of Nursing to plan a celebration for our class. We were part of an incredible class that broke boundaries and prepared for a career focused on improving health and systems for all. We hope you will join us during our celebration programs in September!

The School of Nursing Class of 1971 Celebration Committee: Barbara Brown, Linda Hurwitz, Pat McCowen Mehring, Laurie K. Glass, Connie Keyes, Lynne O’Donnell

Class of 1971 List

  • Carole Anderson
  • Karen Anderson
  • Terri Anderson
  • Cathy Meissner Beckwith
  • Jeanne Berk
  • Kathleen Berkley
  • Maxine Binn
  • Bonnie Kessro Blake
  • Linda Luetscher Blakeslee
  • Mary Milinowicz Borer
  • Roberta Bost
  • Claire Quist Box
  • Barbara Brown
  • Cathy Brunt
  • Lynn Domres Buhmann
  • Toni Carroll
  • Carol Clingan
  • Kathleen Aschenbrenner Cooper
  • Barbara Hallanan Crawford
  • Natalie Dahl
  • Eleanor De Lucia
  • Constance Deer
  • Judith DeMuth
  • Carol Demuth
  • Susan Dolney
  • Cathryn Eckberg
  • Diane Ela
  • Ann Emery
  • Elizabeth Engberg
  • Sandra Fager
  • Barbara Ferrier
  • Mary Fick
  • Karen Fish
  • Evelyn Flores
  • Diane Fredrickson
  • Cathleen Gencel
  • Laurie Glass
  • Helen Glembocki
  • Susan Libesch Gordon
  • Judith Grasamke
  • Teresa Halcsik
  • Pamela Harding
  • Patricia Higgins
  • Kristin Hill
  • Carol Howley
  • Patricia Hrobsky
  • Carol Huff
  • Linda Hurwitz
  • Elizabeth Isaacson
  • Kathleen Janssen
  • Claudia Jentz
  • Cynthia Johnson
  • June Jones
  • Louise Juliani
  • Geraldine Holl Kahn
  • Judith Blumberg Kaplan
  • Jacqueline Kartman
  • Jean Keegan
  • Janet Kelly
  • Margie Kelm
  • Constance Keyes
  • Terry Boggess Knight
  • Mary Knoll
  • Patti Kolek
  • Susanne Koss
  • Sandra Laedtke
  • Mary Myers Lang
  • Kathleen Lawler Lemke
  • Jill Lewis
  • Colleen Liebmann
  • Linda Loos
  • Linda Lorentzen
  • Sandra Lungociu
  • Madeleine MacIndoe
  • Susan Maciolek
  • Susan Mack
  • Janet Markley
  • Joan McConnell
  • Patricia McCowen Mehring
  • Joyce Meyer
  • Molly Meyer
  • Pamela Collier Mielke
  • Arlene Morrow
  • Ann Moyer
  • Christine Jorgensen Mustelier
  • Daine Naigow
  • Susan Boettcher Nelson
  • Carol Nelson
  • Diane O’Donnell
  • Lynne O’Donnell
  • Patricia Ostermick
  • Lynn Oswald
  • Lyn Palacheck
  • Nancie  Peebles
  • Beverly Priefer
  • Judith Priske
  • Julie Ramson
  • Marsha Rather
  • Nancy Roefer
  • Rita Rosengren
  • Marilyn Rudat
  • Christine Sautebin
  • Marsha Schneeberger
  • Ardis Sexe
  • Leslie Sill
  • Diane Slager
  • Nancy Spector
  • Kathleen Spevacek
  • Laura Steen
  • Mary Steinmann
  • Kristin Susa
  • Barbara Kuckuck Talbot
  • Mary Thompson
  • Linda Tolkan
  • Linda Verbiscar
  • Mary Walgenbach
  • Linda Walter
  • Katherine Erickson Welnick
  • Janet Wicka
  • Ann-Marie Winecke
  • Rita Wood
  • Elizabeth Wyss
  • Margaret Zarwell

Remarks from the Class of 1971 to the Class of 2021

Congratulations, Class of 2021! You’ve made it through four years of rigorous preparation for a nursing career that has been a central part of our lives for the past 50 years. You’ve accomplished this amid a global pandemic, demands for social justice, and a period of extreme political polarization.

Our years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1968-1971, were also times of fear, political turmoil, and social unrest and violence in the streets. We remember bearing witness to the Civil Rights Movement, assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and experiencing the National Guard and police in riot gear on campus. We also can’t forget the bombing of Sterling Hall. These issues added significant stress during our nursing education as they have added to yours. However, navigating these issues also provided opportunities for growth and personal development. Nursing’s holistic philosophy of body, mind, and spirit demands personal exploration of these domains. The societal issues we’ve navigated during our respective nursing educational experience provided a unique context for this self-reflection.

We, the Class of 1971, are confident that you will carry this personal exploration and philosophy forward into your nursing careers. You will be better human beings and compassionate nurses for having endured these tumultuous times and embraced these existential issues during your nursing education.

We have compiled a list of short words of wisdom we’ve gained over 50 years:

  • Nurses are change agents.
  • Stand by your actions when you are confident in your knowledge base and experience.
  • Never be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it.
  • Develop collegial relationships with all levels of care providers—from nursing assistants to physicians. Everyone has a part to play in providing comprehensive care to patients, and, generally, the RN is the glue that holds it all together!
  • Encourage active participation in decision making by providing the education that patients need to weigh the pros/cons of treatment options. Things are rarely black or white and there is seldom only one option to achieve a goal.
  • When physicians have exhausted treatments to offer a patient, nurses are still able to give individualized care and emotional support.
  • Two words to eliminate from your vocabulary when working: NEVER and ALWAYS.
  • Be flexible, change is a constant.
  • Take time to listen to your patient, to your co-workers, and to yourself.
  • Be a lifelong learner. The science of medicine/nursing/pharmaceuticals is constantly growing. You can’t know everything, but you can always go back to the literature.
  • Participate in professional organizations. The networking and support opportunities that they provide are invaluable.
  • Mentor the next generation of nurses; you have wisdom to share.

You have the tools and abilities to accomplish your dreams. Go forth and sort the wheat from the chaff. We wish you all the best as you graduate and hope that you can look back 50 years from now and be as proud of your alma mater and the preparation you received as we are.

—Members of the UW–Madison School of Nursing Class of 1971: Barbara Brown, Lauren Glass, Linda Hurwitz, Constance Keyes, Patricia Mehring, and Lynne O’Donnell

In Memoriam

Lorelei Adams
Sheila Benedict
Judy Bienfang
Mary Bradley
Marsha Cohen
Lavera Donley
Patricia Gadow
Mary Gebhard
Lorena Dahmen Gordon

Carol Schoening Haertel
Rita Hallett
Nancy Foreman Kaufman
Marion Kerwin
Joseph Ketarkus
Dorothy Kita
Linda Seidel Klug
Irmhild Micek
Jill Johnson Niemczyk

Robert Payne
Violet Radel
Juliene Ruston
Mickie McMahon Schmudlach
Jeanne Steensma
Carol Luljak Tessmer
Eleanor Waddell
Virginia Waite
Gretchen Simmons Webster

“UW-Madison provided me with an excellent foundation on which to build a wonderful career. Going into the Army right out of school also helped to foster independence and to grow my professional skills. Understanding that nursing requires lifelong learning set me up to expand my skills throughout my career and Signe Cooper made sure that we learned the importance of participating in professional nursing organizations.”

Pat McCowen Mehring '71

Class of 1971 Celebration Presentations

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Class of 1971 Celebration Kick-Off

The Class of 1971 kicked off their 50-year reunion hearing from Dean Linda Scott and Diversity Officer, Mel Freitag. They remembered those members of the class who passed before reaching this milestone, while also celebrating the establishment of the Class of 1971 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Support Fund. This is a permanent endowment that will provide financial support to underrepresented students who demonstrate financial need. These funds will support retention efforts for students to engage in professional development opportunities and activities that will support their nursing education.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Health System Readiness to Address LGBTQ Health - Dr. Madelyne Greene

During the Class of 1971 50th anniversary celebration events, Dr. Madelyne Greene, PhD, RN, presented a lightning talk titled “Health System Readiness to Address LGBTQ Health.”

The past 3 decades of research have demonstrated that individuals in the US who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) are more likely to experience discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Currently, LGBTQ patients have little or no access to systematic, reliable information about the safety and LGBTQ competency of particular health care providers or systems. To address this problem, Dr. Greene and her team utilized the Community Readiness Model to conduct a deep, stakeholder-engaged assessment of a mid-sized health system in Dane County’s readiness to address LGBTQ health. Based on the model, our findings will direct the health system to the most impactful next steps for LGBTQ patients and families.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Improving Outcomes for Hospitalized Older Adults: A Model of Care for Ambulation - Dr. Barb King

In her presentation to the Class of 1971, Dr. Barb King, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, FAAN, discussed Hospital-Acquired Disability (HAD), which is the loss of independent ambulation older adults experience during their hospital stay. A primary cause of HAD is limited ambulation during hospitalization. Nurses experience multiple barriers that prevent them from getting patients up to walk. Dr. King and her team created and tested an innovative model of care that directly addresses identified barriers and improves the frequency and distances that patients walk and their gait speed and functional ability.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Class of 1971 Academic Affairs Presentation and Student Panel

During the Class of 1971 50th anniversary celebration events, class members engaged with current students and learned about the current academic practices and programs at the School of Nursing.

Katie Bleier, assistant dean for Academic Affairs, shared an overview of how clinical placements are made, how the curriculum is determined, what student support resources are available, and what students are receiving for career preparation. Several current students also shared their personal journeys into nursing and gave their insights into the current nursing school culture.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

From Despair to Thriving: Lessons Learned in Research & Teaching about Mental Health - Dr. Elliot Tebbe

In this brief talk given during the Class of 1971 50th anniversary events, Dr. Elliot Tebbe, PhD, LP, discussed his work related to LGBTQ mental health. Dr. Tebbe reflected on the ways in which his research has shifted over the years, from identifying and investigating factors driving health inequities, to expanding his focus to one that also centers on questions related to well-being, flourishing, and thriving. Dr. Tebbe also discussed how his own shifting perspective in this area of research mirrors how he teaches on these topics in his courses.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Pandemic or Pandemics? - Dr. Gina Bryan

In a presentation to the Class of 1971, Dr. Gina Bryan, DNP, APRN-BC, FAAN, shared an update on Wisconsin opiate use disorder statistics, the impact of COVID-19 on the opiate pandemic, and her most recent research collaboration with fellow UW-Madison School of Nursing faculty, Dr. Rachel Gicquelais, PhD, MPH, called “Project Send-It.”

Contact Us

Jordan Langer

Position title: Advancement Manager


Phone: 608-262-1179

5173 Signe Skott Cooper Hall