A Celebration of Claire M. Fagin
On the 40th anniversary of her arrival at Penn and the 10th anniversary of naming our building, Claire M. Fagin Hall, we are proud to celebrate the ongoing impact of Dr. Fagin on our school and the profession of nursing.
Claire Fagin’s deanship was transformational for Penn Nursing in many ways, including strengthening our commitment to student support. To this day, Claire remains dedicated to ensuring Penn Nursing remains the number one school of nursing, which means we must continue to attract the best and brightest students. What better way to honor Claire and celebrate her 90th birthday than to establish a scholarship in the name of her and her husband, Sam – two of the School’s greatest advocates.
Please join us in raising $125,000 to establish the Claire and Sam Fagin Scholarship at the School of Nursing and help to ensure that the most talented students have access to the exceptional education and incredible opportunities that are unique to our School.
Below is a rotating sample of the many messages to Claire received from friends at Penn Nursing and beyond in honor of her 90th birthday. To add your message for publication on the website, please submit it here.
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><strong>Thank you for your mentorship and wise counsel over many years.</strong> I am at Penn because of you. You were right on this as always as I’ve loved every minute at Penn. We have experienced many career highs together and visited wonderful places together from Bellagio to Santiago to St. Petersburg and including a wonderful time in San Juan last year with Sam and Mary. <strong>Looking forward to continuing our adventures.</strong></h4><h4> With much admiration and love,<br/> Linda Aiken</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><strong>To Claire, quintessential leader, role model, wise sage</strong>… I remember from the late 1980s those days of many struggles to bring The CARE Program to life…One special memory sticks out: Being in your Office when you shared a memo you had just received from a department chair from ‘across the street.’ Here are a couple of prescient quotes:</h4><h4> “Within the context of a University program it seems that the service and clinical care aspects of this endeavor would be under the auspices of the Medical Center, while the research and educational activities might be more appropriately directed by the School of Nursing… No clinical program should be operated by nurses; this is tantamount to practicing medicine without a license.”</h4><h4> Your response was ‘pure Claire’!! Apoplectic, yet determined to make this happen…CARE’s gestational period took a little longer than had been hoped, but we need never have feared…<strong>With your clear vision about the place of nursing in the academy, your stellar leadership and perseverance, it slowly advanced</strong>.… Then, as Acting President of the University, you were front and Center for the monumental Ribbon Cutting Ceremony when The CARE Program – the School’s first major owned and operated academic practice – was born!!!</h4><h4> Thank you again for teaching us so many important lessons!!! </h4><h4> Lots of Love,<br/> Lois Evans</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> My first contact with Claire was in the spring of 1979 when she called me to come to Penn Nursing to start a new midwifery program. I was then Director of the graduate midwifery program at Columbia University and trying to finish my doctoral program. As I was later to realize, Claire, you were an expert in recruiting and made me an offer I could not refuse. Not only did you offer me the opportunity to create a midwifery program from the ground up in the way I thought it should be done (I had taught and directed two programs to date for 8 years - both of which were the longest running programs), you agreed to pay for me to finish data collection with a statistical consultant so that I could finish my Doctor in Public Health degree and offered me a very nice salary to do what I loved doing! <strong>Your leadership of Penn Nursing was stellar, and I benefited as did many other relatively junior faculty.</strong> What stands out about you in my mind, Claire, is your character. You are honest, caring, stubborn when needed, and most of all, trustworthy. You shared that trust in me to establish a top-rated midwifery program and practice, and your encouragement, support, and unquestionable loyalty brought out the best in me and in Penn Nursing. <strong>I learned many valuable life lessons from you Claire that have served and continue to serve me well in the international efforts to save the lives of women and newborns, using competent, caring midwives.</strong> Many blessings for your continued mentoring and enjoyment of whatever life brings your way. I regret I cannot be with you in person on October 26th, but will be with you in spirit.</h4><h4> Love,<br/> Joyce Beebe Thompson</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><strong>Claire M. Fagin was a dean extraordinaire!</strong> I cannot imagine working with a more marvelous leader of an academic unit, a more supportive administrator of faculty, staff, and students, or a wiser person than Claire.</h4><h4> It was an honor to have been recruited to Penn by Claire in 1978 and to work with her throughout her tenure as dean, to be at Penn when she became our Interim President, and to work her again when she returned to the School of Nursing as our senior faculty member.</h4><h4><strong>I learned so much about nursing education and administration of nursing education from Claire.</strong> I became a much better faculty member than I could have ever anticipated because of Claire. </h4><h4> I join all of our colleagues in thanking Claire billions and billions of times over, and in wishing her great continued success in all she does. </h4><h4> Gratefully, <br/> Jacqueline Fawcett</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> Claire, I remember so well coming to see you as a young faculty member seeking an appointment in the School of Nursing when you were the Dean. Since I am not a nurse by training, I was afraid you would tell me to look elsewhere. <strong>Instead you immediately embraced the idea of having an inter-professional colleague in the form of me, an epidemiologist. I will be forever grateful for your enthusiastic welcome and support.</strong></h4><h4> –Jennifer Pinto-Martin</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><img width="143" height="225" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/89/width/143/height/225/3498_curley_and_claire.rev.1479406523.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image3498 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/143/height/225/3498_curley_and_claire.rev.1479406523.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/89/width/143/height/225/3498_curley_and_claire.rev.1479406523.jpg 3x" data-max-w="538" data-max-h="846"/><strong>It’s all about impact and that, our dear Claire, is your legacy.</strong></h4><h4> From one parent advocate to another, I will be forever grateful for wide shoulders. Thank you for being such an inspiration and thank you for the opportunity to watch in awe.</h4><h4> With love and admiration,<br/> Martha Curley</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><br/><img width="250" height="188" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/89/width/250/height/188/3495_fagin_-_constance_corino_nbc.rev.1479322365.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image3495 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/250/height/188/3495_fagin_-_constance_corino_nbc.rev.1479322365.jpg 2x" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="480"/><strong>This is a photo taken from an NBC TV National Show on the Nursing Shortage in 1981. The show won an Emmy. </strong> Claire represented the school and I represented the hospital - we were without a director of nursing at the time. I have so many memories of these last exciting days as we struggled to define academic nursing. <strong>Claire was THE leader of these important milestones and will always remain my mentor, colleague and friend</strong>.</h4><h4> –Constance Corino</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> I send warmest wishes and lots of love to you on your special day. <strong>I’m always so grateful that you served as Dean to my school, and as Interim President of my University.</strong> I am also aware that it was you who arranged for me to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. <strong>As always, you pressed forward to have nurses recognized and acknowledged.</strong> That doctorate of many, is most special to me. Thank you, thank you.</h4><h4> With gratitude and love,<br/> Shirley Chater</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><img width="250" height="159" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/89/width/250/height/159/3500_claire_jemmott.rev.1479407836.png" class="lw_image lw_image3500 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/250/height/159/3500_claire_jemmott.rev.1479407836.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/89/width/250/height/159/3500_claire_jemmott.rev.1479407836.png 3x" data-max-w="781" data-max-h="497"/>Celebrating my endowed van Ameringen Chair event with my mentor and friend, Claire.</h4><h4><strong>I could not have received this honor without you. Thanks for all you have done for me.</strong></h4><h4> Love ya, Loretta</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> All of these memory statements probably begin with…”there can be no one best memory,” for <strong>knowing Claire is an adventure with endless moments where you stop in wonder at the person across the desk, classroom, dinner table, living room. Claire is like no one else.</strong> I met Claire in 1992 when I joined the Penn School of Nursing to be in charge of alumni and development. In fact, I met her before I moved to Philadelphia and began work. I can remember exactly where I was standing, what time of day it was and the sun streaming into my living room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when I picked up the phone and Claire – who I had never met before and had no warning would call me – was on the phone. She wanted to find out who I was and fill me in on all that awaited me – and us – in fundraising for the best nursing school in the world. I can’t remember all of the details of our conversation, but I do remember that when the call was over I was completely engaged and enthralled what lay ahead for me at Penn.</h4><h4> I’ve always described Claire as someone who could move in a nanosecond between making the most astute and insightful comment on how to solve a healthcare problem and noticing that you had done something different with your hair. Her incredible attention to you as a person at the very same time she was moving healthcare forward resulted in an extraordinary blend of professional excellence and deeply personal commitment to support and celebrate all who work to make the world a better place.</h4><h4> –Kate Judge</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> Claire was Dean of the School of Nursing when I entered the PhD program. She taught a first semester required Leadership course. I had just finished a three-year term on the Board of Directors of a national professional association and said to myself (internally) - why do I need to take this leadership course. From the first moment that Claire walked into the class - my question was answered. <strong>Claire exudes leadership in a way that no one I had ever come in contact with. Just being in her presence was a master class in itself. </strong> Claire is a gift to me, to the School, and to our profession.</h4><h4> –Terry Richmond</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> I have a very clear memory of Dr. Fagin, Dean Fagin at the time, speaking to our small group of PhD students in dissertation seminar. In answer to a question about policy change, Dean Fagin went to the chalk board and drew sketches explaining how she accomplished some major changes both inside and outside the University.</h4><h4> Those drawings changed my professional life. <strong>I was truly amazed by what a nurse can accomplish. She was talking about substantive changes in a way that made them seem possible and relatively simple.</strong> I decided following her lecture that after I finished my PhD, I too was going to be a change maker. I learned later via experience that Dean Fagin simplified the “how to”, I am very glad she did. She inspired me to try in earnest and I followed her lead since that important class many years ago.</h4><h4> –Kathleen Brown, PhD</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> When I came to the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 Dean Dorothy Mereness was the dean and Dean Theresa Lynch was around as Dean Emeritus. When Martin Meyerson became President of Penn he questioned undergraduate professional education and the Penn School of Nursing was among the educational programs threatened. Dean Merreness deserves enormous credit for the persuasive and diplomatic manner in which she convinced the University administration about the many advantages of Penn utilizing its heath education resources to support a School of Nursing. Dean Mereness made it possible to recruit Dean Claire M. Fagin, and <strong>the presence and leadership of Dr. Fagin has been a blessing to the Penn School of Nursing, the valuable profession of nursing, and the University.</strong> It has been a privilege to be associated with Dr. Fagin during her entire 40 years at Penn and I hope and pray that her tenth decade will be healthy and blessed. </h4><h4> –Duncan W. Van Dusen</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4> My first memory of Claire Fagin was when, as a MSN student, we had the honor of meeting with her as our new dean. <strong>She shared her vision for what Penn Nursing could be. It was inspiring and very different from where we were as a school.</strong> I recall that a student asked her why we no longer made the Penn nursing cap available to students and what would this student do if she were to take a job in a facility where they mandated wearing a cap. This was 1977. Claire’s response set the stage as the captain of the rocket ship that would propel us into the new and exciting age. <strong>With full dignity and forcefulness, she said “No Penn grad would take a job in a facility where she had to wear a cap.” I nearly did a cartwheel with joy. We were off and running toward greatness.</strong> Thank you Claire - vision, courage and appropriate irreverence!</h4><h4> With love,<br/> Kathy McCauley</h4></div>
- <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><h4><strong>Claire, receiving the Claire M. Fagin Distinguished Researcher Award was not only an honor but also an opportunity for me to reflect on my research but also how the science of family caregiving evolved.</strong> In that process I discovered more about what I already knew— that you made an incredible contribution to that science and to the care of children and their families. </h4><h4> In honor of that contribution I want to share the poem I wrote to close my lecture. </h4><h4><strong><em>From our roots we grow</em></strong><br/><strong><em>Haphazard it seems at times but connected nonetheless</em></strong><br/><strong><em>By everyday experiences and expectations</em></strong><br/><strong><em>Some of us more privileged than others</em></strong><br/><strong><em>Bound to our sense that unless others are strong we are not</em></strong><br/><strong><em>Strengthening and building on what we have</em></strong><br/><strong><em>To live the life that we all can</em></strong></h4><h4> Best,<br/> Janet A. Deatrick</h4></div>
On November 28, at the Penn Club in New York City, Penn Nursing helped Claire M. Fagin, Professor of Nursing and Dean Emerita, ring in her 90th birthday. A joyful celebration with family, friends, alumni, faculty, and many more, we wished Claire our very best for this next decade and shared our thanks for her incredible passion for nursing and Penn.