The last member of the Sisters of Mercy, the religious order that founded the School of Nursing and Health Professions, retired this spring, marking the end of an era.
Sister M. Ellene Egan ’71, EdD ’89, stepped down after teaching at USF for 33 years. She was the last Sister of Mercy still teaching full-time. “I’m very sad to leave USF. It’s been such a great part of my life and great experience for me,” she said. Egan said she’ll continue helping out in the school where she can.
The Sisters of Mercy started a nursing department in USF’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1948, which became the School of Nursing in 1954. It brought women to a campus that didn’t officially become co-educational until 1964.
The school has grown from a first graduating class of 18 to more than 100 in May (62 bachelor’s, 42 master’s, and doctoral students). The school enrolls about 1,200 women and men in nursing and health professions.