Skip to main content

Honoring a History Maker

In commemoration of Dr. Joan Lynaugh’s leadership and 80th birthday, the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing committed to raising $80,000 specifically for the Joan Lynaugh Founder’s Fund.

Launched in 2015, the Preserving our Future Campaign for the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing remains focused on sustaining and expanding the Center’s historical scholarship, research and archival materials that demonstrate nursing’s relevance to modern healthcare - while also expanding its base of supporters. As founding director, Dr. Joan Lynaugh has long been one of the greatest supporters and leaders for the Bates Center. In light of this leadership and her many contributions to the Center, Dr. Lynaugh’s fellow colleagues and friends wanted to find a way to honor her legacy. 

There are few scholars who have invested and given back as much to Penn Nursing as Joan Lynaugh - making the task of honoring such a legend even more of a challenge. For nearly six decades - four of them connected to Penn Nursing - Dr. Lynaugh has influenced generations of nurse historians and healthcare professionals as a teacher, historian, and mentor. On August 30, 2015, Dr. Lynaugh celebrated her 80th birthday, a major milestone worthy of special celebration. In commemoration of this event and her incredible vision, the Center committed to raising $80,000 specifically for the Joan Lynaugh Founder’s Fund, embarking on a “80 for 80” campaign over the next year.

“As the visionary founder of what was initially the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing in 1985, later the Barbara Bates Center, it seemed that Joan Lynaugh’s 80th birthday was a perfect time to ask many of her students, colleagues, and admirers to donate to the Lynaugh fund,” said Dr. Neville Strumpf, former interim Dean and current Bates Center Advisory Board Chair. “This fund, which was started at the time of Joan’s retirement, is crucial to the acquisition and maintenance of collections used by scholars from around the world.” 

Established by friends and Penn Nursing colleague, the late Dr. Karen Buhler Wilkerson, the Lynaugh Fund enables the Center to take advantage of unique and important opportunities available through digitization and the use of social media. It is funds like this that enable the Center to identify and apply historical research to issues affecting practice and policy today.

“The Lynaugh Fund most of all assures our sustainability into the future,” said Dr. Patricia D’Antonio, Director of the Bates Center. “While at the same time honoring Joan’s tireless work and incredible generosity.”

The effort to raise gifts in honor of Dr. Lynaugh and support this fund has continued to bring in new donors for the Center, a central goal of the Preserving our Future campaign. By the end of August 2016, the Lynaugh “80 for 80” campaign had both met and exceeded its goal.

“It is with tremendous gratitude that I thank all of the contributors to the campaign honoring Bates founder Joan Lynaugh,” said Bates Center Board Member and Campaign Chair Susan Behrend, Nu’80, GNu’86, PAR’16. “We will forever be grateful to all who invested and continue to perpetuate the scholarly work of the Center.”