Dean Mary Woody

Mary F. Woody

Mary F. Woody
March 31, 1926 - April 28, 2010

Woody accepted the position of dean of Auburn nursing in the spring of 1979 and by September that same year, Auburn’s first class of nursing students was admitted. Using those collaborative skills well known to her colleagues at Emory and Grady, Dean Woody was able, in less than six months, to hire faculty, develop curriculum, renovate Miller Hall, secure private and federal monies, and obtain state permission as well as student and wide community support for the school. After the first class graduated, the school was granted national accreditation at the highest level possible: eight years with a commendation.

"Senator Pete Turnham who was a legislator when Woody was seeking funding for the School of Nursing said, “Dean Woody came from one of the truly outstanding families in Chambers County. She has always loved nursing. She came to us and asked for a modest sum of money. Because she was honest and practical, we gave it to her,” he continued “She lead and people followed. The four year nursing programs had been neglected. She blazed the trail for nursing in Alabama and we are grateful for it.”

As Auburn's nursing students graduated, Dean Woody enjoyed receiving wonderfully positive feedback from their employers, which the current dean, Dr. Gregg Newschwander, continues to receive today.

Dean Woody was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame on March 29, 2008. "I am proud to be a member of the Hall of Fame where one of the goals is to encourage bright and committed young people to choose a career in the medical profession," said Woody. "Nursing is my profession but patient care is my objective. I believe this was the key to my success over the years and also allowed me to have the honor of being inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame."

On the national level, the American Academy of Nursing honored Dean Woody as a "Living Legend" in 1997.

March 31, 1926 - April 28, 2010
Mary F. Woody
Founding Dean of the Auburn University School of Nursing

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Last Updated: Jan. 18, 2011

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