Nurses Receive Their Diplomas

June 11, 1914

In the presence of many friends coming from various sections of Maryland and several hundred people from this immediate neighborhood, amid surroundings that were truly beautiful and with a ceremony that was at once simple and impressive, eight trained nurses were graduated and handed their diplomas at Springfield State Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

The ceremonies were held in the new Amusement Hall, the stage of which was banked with beautiful flowers and potted plants and ferns. All of the nurses of the institution who could be spared from their regular duties occupied seats reserved for them in front of the auditorium, the graduating class in the front row.

The stage was set with beautiful mission furniture. While the guests were assembling a competent orchestra discoursed the sweetest music. The graduates marched in to the tune of “Maryland, My Maryland”, amid enthusiastic applause and then came Dr. J. Clement Clark, Superintendent of the institution and the distinguished gentlemen who had a part in the program, with the official board. Dr. Clark presided.

After they had taken their places on the platform and an impressive prayer had been offered by the Rev. William K. Marshall, Dr. Clark announced that Governor Goldsborough, who  it had been announced would present the diplomas to the graduates, was not able to be present, but that his place would be taken by Dr. Arthur P. Herring, of the State Lunacy Commission.

Dr. Herring on being presented made a happy address, in which he humorously referred to his substitution for the Governor, and then directed himself to the class. He referred to the duties, the trials and the difficulties of the nurses in such institutions and said through a plan of cooperation now being worked out it was hoped to obtain recognition for nurses graduated from the State institutions in the general hospitals.

He declared that their day of graduation was really the opening of a bright future in their profession. He paid a high tribute to Superintendent Clark and the Springfield Hospital, which is becoming famous for the “first things” it is doing and its advanced standing among the institutions of its kind. Dr. Herring then called the names of the graduates and each, as the name was called, went upon the stage, received his or her diploma, along with generous applause, and passed off on the opposite side. When the last of the class had been called Dr. Clark said that the names had not been called in the order of standing and added, amid much applause, that all were “stars.”

The class then returned from their seats and the audience was treated to selections from “The Bohemian Girl” by the orchestra. Then followed the address of the afternoon by Dr. Adolph Meyer, head of the famous Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, of Baltimore. The address was at once scholarly and instructive—a gem from a master mind.

In beautiful yet simple language Dr. Meyer reviewed his experiences in institutions for the care of the insane in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York, not, he said for the purpose of detailing his personal history or experiences, but to bring to the attention, not only of the nurses, but of all others, the marked advances that had been made in recent years in the care of insane patients in the working out of the great results that have been accomplished, the nurse has played and is playing a most important part.

The speaker dwelt with much earnestness on the work of the nurse in the discovery of normal traits in the patient and gradually developing and drawing these out, with the result that a new era is dawning in the care of the insane. He closed with an earnest and touching message from the nurses of the Phipps Clinic addressed to the graduating class.

The exercises closed with a medley of patriotic selections from the orchestra and the benediction by the Rev. C. R. Dudley. The audience then stood while the orchestra played “The Star Spangled Banner” and then everybody was invited to an adjoining room where a delicious luncheon was served, consisting of deviled crabs, sandwiches, olives, fruit, coffee and ice cream.

The whole affair was most successful and delightful and thoroughly enjoyed by all present. The graduates were dressed in immaculate white and the young women members of the class carried flowers.

Following is a list of the graduates: Mrs. Clara Coursey Beall, Queen Annes County; Misses Jennie M. Groll, Dorchester; Elizabeth Oakes, Carroll; Iida M. Pitts, Virginia; Hattie Pearl Revere, Virginia, Martha Wheeler, Carroll, Emory G. Barnes, Carroll; Charles L. Devilbiss, Frederic.

In the evening a ball was given in honor of the class which was greatly enjoyed.

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