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Rush Archives Blog

From the Rush Archives: Remembering the Opening of PSLHSN, Fall 1957

by Nathalie Wheaton on 2020-09-08T08:00:00-05:00 in History, Archives | Comments

-Post contributed by Rush Archives Work Study Student Kirsten Petrarca, Doctoral Student in Audiology, Rush University.

This fall may look a bit different, but the Rush community is still excited to welcome our new students, whether in-person or remote. The Rush University campus here on Chicago's West Side has seen its share of students over the years. Our current campus dates back to the 1870s, when Rush Medical College moved to the corner of Wood and Harrison Streets after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed their original campus at Grand and Dearborn. Since then, Rush's West Side campus has been the center of education for Rush Medical College, our predecessor nursing schools, Rush University, and many other health-related educational programs at our hospitals. 

CAPTION: "Student Nurse Nancy Dever (center) models new uniform and cap to be worn this fall by freshmen entering Presbyterian-St. Luke’s School of Nursing. With her are Sandra Forgeon (left), wearing contemporary St. Luke’s uniform, and Betty Marquez in present Presbyterian uniform. Made of light gray dacron, new uniform launders easily. Square, shallow cap is designed to complement any style of hair-do." From the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital Review newsletter, Fall 1957. [1]

This fall, we remember the first class of students to enroll at Rush's historic Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, 1957. Presbyterian Hospital (est. 1883) and St. Luke’s Hospital (est. 1864) and their nursing schools merged in 1956, and the Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing (PSLHSN) accepted its first class of 200 students in the fall of 1957.

PSLHSN student nurse, Louise Johnson, and construction of New East Pavilion, 1957, later renamed Kellogg Pavilion.CAPTION: "Louise Johnson, student nurse, watches progress on hospital's new 13-story, air-conditioned pavilion at West Side Medical Center from vantage point across Congress Street Expressway. Completion of building, adjoining present Presbyterian structures, is expected in spring 1959." From the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital Review newsletter, Fall 1957. [2]

In addition to the excitement surrounding the enrollment of the merged School of Nursing’s first cohort, Edith D. Payne, Director of the Nursing Department, developed the new “Education and Nurse-Internship,” an accredited program that provided students with two years of didactic and practical training, followed by a paid internship in their third year.

The "East Pavilion" was renamed the John L. and Helen Kellogg Pavilion in 1978, after a generous donation from the John L. and Helen Kellogg Foundation. [3] Former President Gerald Ford announced this contribution to Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center at a gala celebrating the kick-off of a new capital campaign. 

Did you know? The Rush Archives holds Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing Records, #4778, including yearbooks, annual announcements, alumni newsletters, and school uniforms, caps, and pins. The Rush Archives also collects and maintains the papers of individual alumni from our schools.

Want to learn more about the history of Rush or the Rush Archives collections? Explore the Rush Archives website, or contact the archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, MSLS.

*Presbyterian and St. Luke's Hospital merged in 1956. Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital merged with the newly reorganized Rush Medical College in 1969, to become Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center (RPSLMC). RPSLMC was renamed Rush University Medical Center in 2003, to better reflect its status as a leading academic research center. 

All documents and photographs belong to the records collections of Rush University Medical Center Archives, Chicago, Ill. Contact the archivist for permissions and full citations.

[1] From The Review newsletter, Fall 1957: https://archive.org/details/reviewnewsletter1957pres/page/8/mode/2up

[2] From The Review newsletter, Fall 1957: https://archive.org/details/reviewnewsletter1957pres/page/3/mode/2up

[3] From NewsRounds, December 1978: https://archive.org/details/newsrounds19781978rush_0/page/34/mode/2up


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