Endowed Professorships & Chairs

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College of Nursing

Dorothy M. Smith Chair

History

The Dorothy M. Smith Chair was established as a professorship to honor the founding dean of the UF College of Nursing, focusing on the unification of practice and education. A significant nurse leader of her time, Smith was influential in changing the way nursing was taught and practiced. In 2006, Florida Blue contributed more than $2 million to an endowment at UF to bring the Dorothy M. Smith professorship to full chair status and to open the Florida Blue Center for Health Care Access, Patient Safety and Quality Outcomes.

Dorothy Smith developed a school where knowledge-based clinical excellence was the norm for administrators, faculty members, nurses and students alike. Smith, a graduate of Quincy City Hospital School of Nursing in Massachusetts, received bachelor's degrees from Teachers College and Columbia University, and a master's degree from Harvard University.

Dorothy Smith's ideas have stood the test of time so well that it is difficult to imagine the world as it was when nursing education was isolated academically from other disciplines within universities and isolated from its clinical practice base; when schools of nursing had no roles in their universities' teaching hospitals and clinical services; when graduate nursing education prepared nurses for functional roles in education and administration rather than for careers in clinical practice and research. Smith's ideas were so bold and contrary to the prevailing norms and conventional wisdom of the times that only decades later is it possible to recognize the immensely influential role her visionary ideas had for the evolution of nursing as we know it today.

Dean Smith passed away in 1997 and was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 1998.

Current Recipient