Loma Linda University honors Helen King’s 24 years as dean of the School of Nursing
Dr. King was given the LLUAHSC President’s Award in recognition of her 24 years of service as dean of the School. Posing for a photo are (from left) B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, president, LLUAHSC; Dr. King; Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor, Loma Linda University; and H. Roger Hadley, MD, executive vice president for medical affairs, LLUAHSC.
At a special retirement party held June 13 in Wong Kerlee International Conference Center, Loma Linda University administrators honored Helen King, PhD, RN.
After 24 years as dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. King announced her retirement earlier this year.
The evening began with appetizers in the foyer, then the main course as served in the conference center. During dinner, Nancy Wolfe, RN, School of Nursing alumna, class of 1991, provided elegant harp music.
Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing, LLUSN, and her husband, Lyndon Johnston Taylor, provided several musical selections throughout the evening. Mr. Johnston Taylor is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Several friends and colleagues of Dr. King presented tributes during the retirement celebration. Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor of Loma Linda University, reflected on his many years of working closely with Dr. King on Deans Council.
Myrna Reyes, a senior School of Nursing student, and Anthony Frazier, president of the SN student association, presented Dr. King with a check for $1,000 from the SN student association.
Representing 16 faculty members who spent long hours quilting and embroidering, Ellen D’Errico, MSN, RN, assistant professor of nursing, and Peggy Burns, DNSc,
Marilyn Herrmann, PhD, RN, associate dean of the undergraduate program, School of Nursing, shares a laugh with Dr. King prior to the party.
RN, associate professor of nursing, LLUSN, unveiled a large handmade bird quilt. One of Dr. King’s hobbies is birdwatching.
From the centennial planning committee, Marcia Dunbar, MS, RN, assistant professor of nursing, LLUSN, presented Dr. King with a crystal vase engraved with her name and years as dean.
Patricia S. Jones, PhD, RN, director of the international nursing program, LLUSN, showed a humorous slideshow of Dr. King’s last trip to Vietnam and the two hats that she wore home. Following Dr. Jones’s slideshow, she presented Dr. King with a rattan hat that Dr. Jones had saved after one of their trips.
Dustin R. Jones, MA, special projects editor, office of University relations, presented a slideshow and monologue of Dr. King’s life.
Lowell Jordan, MBA, former assistant dean for financial affairs, then shared with the audience his memories of Dr. King from his years of serving with her.
Sharon L. Pearson, Dr. King’s administrative assistant since 1998, and Jeff Leeper, MBA, assistant dean for financial affairs, LLUSN, presented Dr. King with a basket of cards and well-wishes from Dr. King’s friends and colleagues. Along with those was a memory book put together by Ms. Pearson.
The final tribute of the evening was from B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS
Patricia Pothier, PhD, RN, associate professor, School of Nursing, gives Dr. King a giftbag full of chocolate in celebration of her favorite treat.
, president and CEO of LLUAHSC. Dr. Behrens honored Dr. King with the President’s Medallion, the highest award given by Loma Linda for service.
Dr. King earned the bachelor of science degree in nursing in 1959 and the master of science degree in nursing and teaching in 1965 from Loma Linda University, and the doctor of philosophy degree in biology from Boston University in 1973.
Even before beginning her doctoral studies, she was honored in 1968 as one of the “outstanding young women of America.” Her professional experience includes a rich history of professional nursing, teaching, and administrative experience: hospital nurse at Loma Linda Sanitarium and Hospital and at White Memorial Hospital; teacher at Southern Missionary College, Loma Linda University, Boston University School of Nursing, Boston College School of Nursing, and Atlantic Union College; research consultant at New England Memorial Hospital; and administrator at Atlantic Union College and Loma Linda University.
In 1981, Dr. King was appointed dean of the Loma Linda University School of Nursing. She brought to this position personal devotion to the comprehensive mission of the University and unwavering commitment to excellence in the art and science of nursing. During a tenure of nearly a quarter
Sharon L. Pearson, administrative assistant to the dean, School of Nursing, presents Dr. King with a basket of cards and well-wishes from friends. Ms. Pearson has been with Dr. King since 1998.
of a century as dean—the longest in the history of the University’s seven schools—her steady and capable leadership has remained grounded in the principles upon which the School of Nursing was founded a century ago.
Under her leadership, the school has grown substantially in size and complexity. Included among the programs that have been added to the standard nursing curriculum during the past quarter of a century are accelerated and intensive bachelor of science degree programs designed for students with non-nursing baccalaureate preparation, a master of science degree program that offers a number of advanced-practice clinical and administration options, programs that combine nursing with master’s-level study in public health and biomedical and clinical ethics, and a doctor of philosophy degree program in nursing. In addition, off-campus degree programs are now offered in Thailand, Argentina, and Japan.
In addition to administrative oversight of the School of Nursing, Dr. King has served the broader academic community and the nursing profession as a member of major University committees, boards, and councils; chair and member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing taskforces and commissions; member of the American Nurses’ Association,
Helen King, PhD, RN, dean, School of Nursing, poses for a picture with her husband, Bill.
National League for Nursing, Association of Seventh-day Adventist Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau (international honor society for nursing); site visitor for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; and international site visitor on behalf of the Adventist Accrediting Association.
In recognition of and appreciation for her dedication, loyalty, and commitment to Loma Linda University, Dr. King was awarded the University Distinguished Service Award at the School of Nursing conferring-of-degrees ceremony this year.
Following are Dr. King’s remarks given at her retirement party:
“Three remarkable nurse leaders preceded me as dean—Kathryn Jensen Nelson, Maxine Atteberry, and Marilyn Christian Gearing. Their visionary leadership moved this School from a strong hospital program to a collegiate school of nursing. As the flagship School of Nursing for our church, it is the primary source of master’s prepared nurse educators and leaders for Adventist nursing education and health care around the world.
“The thought of following in their footsteps was a daunting thought and I turned it down the first two times I was asked to consider the deanship. Finally with the encouragement of my husband, I accepted the position and have had the privilege of building on their accomplishments and working with faculty, staff, and alumni, who are committed to making the School of Nursing a great School of Nursing.
“We have been on a long and wonderful journey together, these 24 years. Early in my tenure as the dean, the faculty courageously voted to require a doctoral degree for promotion to rank of associate professor. Few had a doctorate and this decision meant that they themselves would soon have to be immersed in the hard work of doctoral study.
“Most of the faculty continued to teach and to care for their families, while studying. Do you understand what a commitment that was for a wife and mother? I am proud of you. Thank you for giving me the privilege of working with you, an astounding group of nurse educators.
“I want to acknowledge the friends and alumni who generously funded our faculty development efforts. Their funding supported faculty members who wished to study for advanced education. I am gratified to report that 22 of 38 faculty members now have their doctorates, four have postdoctoral training in research, and four more are currently studying for their doctorates.
“It has been fun being dean. Of course, that has been because of the dedicated work of all of the competent School of Nursing faculty and staff. All of you have been important members of the team. Thank you for your support and friendship. I would also like to thank my husband, Bill, for his encouragement and unwavering confidence in me. I could not have done it without you.
“I thank God for His daily blessings that have guided and strengthened me. How good He has been. I am honored to have you here to celebrate my retirement. Thank you for coming tonight. Thanks also to Sharon (Pearson), Marilyn (Herrmann), Lois (Van Cleve), Jeff (Leeper), Ellen (D’Errico), and Marcia (Dunbar) for putting this party together. It has been wonderful.”