By Jax DiEugenio
Honoring 50 years of The College’s School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science, a virtual gala was held on Friday, Nov. 13 to celebrate the institution’s half-century-long tradition of “educating capable and impactful healthcare leaders of tomorrow,” as noted in the program’s description.
Fifty years ago, the College was primarily a notable institution for training teachers, so an emphasis was naturally placed on the educational aspect of nursing and health before the clinical component came into view.
Today, the school succeeds in incorporating vital clinical experience, unique research projects, dual major or minor opportunities, and cutting edge technology to help foster success in this area of study.
The fundraising goal was “$50,000 for 50 years,” as gala moderator Dean Maurice Hall noted in his opening. Turning out funds, a broad community of patrons donated a figure over $50,000 to help continue the program’s successes.
The gala surpassed its goal thanks to the support of a large community of students, faculty, alumni, parents, and more to celebrate this significant milestone in the College’s history.
Capturing the effective educational dynamic of the school, senior health and exercise science (HES) major Jill Neggia addressed the gala attendees and shared her experience at the College.
“Throughout my four years as a HES major, I have been challenged both academically and clinically and have been presented with numerous volunteer and campus involvement opportunities as well,” she said.
Reflecting on the impactful driving force that is the school’s staff, Neggia added, “The HES department is staffed with qualified professionals in the field of health and exercise science who emphasize the importance of providing assistance and guidance to their students.”
The College’s President, Dr. Kathryn Foster gave her remarks next, quoting the notable physician and scholar Oliver Wendall Holmes Sr. who wrote, “If you wish to keep as well as possible, the less you think about your health the better.”
Foster reflected on the impactful sentiment of the school in relation to the quote, stating “ I know what he was getting at. Don’t dwell on your sore foot or that extra pound… but on this special event, I propose that we reject Holmes’ advice and that we revel in our health. Not in the health of feet, weight or sleep, but in the health represented by the vibrant and vital TCNJ School of Nursing Health and Exercise Science.”
From the confines of the Covid-19 global pandemic, Foster praised the diligence and perseverance of faculty and alumni who are actively working on the front lines.
Noting the dire importance of their work, she stated, “In these times particularly, we are indebted to, and awed by the healthcare providers of every kind. It is thrilling to know that TCNJ educated professionals are on the front lines, and they are also behind the scenes. They are keeping us safe in a global pandemic.”