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College of Nursing honors the memory of former dean Gloria Richardson Smith

January 24, 2013

The Wayne State University College of Nursing wishes to honor the memory of former dean Gloria Richardson Smith, who recently passed away in Battle Creek. 

Smith began her long and distinguished career in Detroit in 1955 as a public health nurse. She subsequently became dean of nursing at the University of Oklahoma and the first nurse to be director of the Michigan Department of Public Health. In 1988 she was named dean of the Wayne State University College of Nursing and served until 1991, when she joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek as coordinator for health programs. 
During her time at Wayne State, the State of Michigan Board of Nursing approved the Second Career Second Degree program, creating an accelerated BSN curriculum for students with a bachelor's degree or higher who wished to pursue a career in nursing.
At the Kellogg Foundation Smith rose to the position of vice president for health programs in 1995, and served in that capacity until her retirement in 2001. She was a motive force in a number of funded initiatives to strengthen community-based delivery of health services.
Smith was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the National League for Nursing, the Michigan Nurses Association and the National Black Nurses Association, among many other organizations. She earned a bachelor’s in nursing from Wayne State, a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan, a master’s in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in anthropology from the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities in Cincinnati. In 2002 she was The WSU College of Nursing’s Alumna of the Year.  
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