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Home : About Us : Mission/Vision : STTI Founders

STTI Founders

The Founders of Sigma Theta Tau


In 1922, six students from the Indiana University Training School for Nurses in Indianapolis, Indiana founded the honor society of nursing.

Learn more about the lives of these students and their faculty advisor, who recognized the value of scholarship and excellence in nursing practice.

  


Chapter Heritage: Ideas on preserving chapter heritage

Founders Day Ideas
Archiving Preserving 
Archival Resources
Archiving Documents* Preserving Documents*

Mary Tolle WrightMary Tolle Wright was born in Brownsburg, Ind., on July 14, 1900. She graduated from Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Ind., and attended Indiana University in 1919. Mary graduated from Indiana University Training School in 1923. In 1925 she married; her family included two sons, John and William. During her career she lived in Houston, Texas, where she did Private Duty, General Duty and Night Duty. For approximately 30 years Mary lived in Little Rock, Ark., where she volunteer taught for the Red Cross; served as executive secretary for the State Nursing Association and the State Board of Nursing. She was active with the League of Nursing (now NLN), was the director of Nursing at Arkansas Baptist Hospital and chief nurse of the mobile Blood Bank. While living abroad she was U.S.O.M. Clinic Nurse in Nepal, India.Wrights overseas travels also included living in Liberia, Nepal and Afghanistan. She died February 20, 1999, in Weslaco, Texas.

Edith More CopelandEdith Moore Copeland was born on June 10, 1901, in Brazil, Ind. She attended Indiana University School of Nursing in 1919. On June 29, 1924, Edith married Fred Copeland. Her family included two sons, Fred Jr. and John Robert. As an industrial nurse, she worked at McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Mo. After moving to California, Copeland worked at Merritt Hospital and for three internists practicing in Oakland, Calif. After she retired in May, 1969, she worked with the Peace Corps. She resided in San Mateo, Calif., until her death on October 5, 1992.

Marie Hippensteel LingemanMarie Hippensteel Lingeman was born on August 17, 1900, in Rochester, Ind., and graduated from high school in North Manchester, Ind. She graduated from Indiana University School of Nursing in 1923 and married Dr. Ralph Lingeman that same year. They relocated to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and their family included four children. Lingemans nursing career included work in general duty, as an OB supervisor and as an office nurse for two physicians. While suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she requested to be buried in North Manchester, Ind. Her family became her main interest until her death on September 7, 1984.

Dorothy Garrigus AdamsDorothy Garrigus Adams was born on September 23, 1902, in Brazil, Ind. She attended the local Brazil High School and graduated from Indiana University School of Nursing in 1924. After graduation, she was a staff nurse at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind.; St. Louis Childrens Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.; and Edwards Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Adams served as the pediatric supervisor at City Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind. and as administrator and director of nursing at Methodist Hospital in Princeton, Ind. While living in Florida, she was the administrator and director of nursing at Broward General Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and worked for many years at Gibson General Hospital. After retiring, she moved to Boynton Beach, Fla. She died on March 2, 1969. She was married to Kenneth Adams, formerly from New York.

Elizabth Russell BelfordElizabeth Russell Belford was born on December 23, 1902, in Jeffersonville, Ind., where she graduated from the public school there. She attended Indiana University School of Nursing, 1920-23 and 1923-25. She married Dr. William W. Belford, pediatrician, on October 8, 1925. Her family included two daughters, Mary and Martha. She served as head nurse of the medical ward and night supervisor at St. Louis Childrens Hospital, St. Louis, Mo. After moving to California, Belford was a director on the boards of the San Diegos Neighborhood House, the Francis W. Parker School, Childrens Home, and Dodson Home for the Aged. She was also involved with San Diegos St. Pauls Episcopal Church, the University of California Hospitals Auxiliary, Society for Crippled Children and Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. She died from a massive heart attack on October 13, 1980.

Elizabeth McWilliams MillerElizabeth McWilliams Miller was born on July 29, 1901, in Olney, Ill. She graduated from Indiana University School of Nursing in 1922, and attended George Washington University/District of Columbia. Her family included one daughter and three sons. She was widowed in 1962, after 32 years of marriage. Miller worked as a Public Health Nurse in Rushville, Ind.; Washington, D.C.; and Miami, Fla. She also conducted field research in the Southeastern States Area for the National Committee on the Costs of Medical Care Study. Miller also worked in the PHN program for WPA in Dade County, Miami, Fla.,and assisted in the formation of the Nursing Section of the Dade County Health Department. She occasionally was a relief nurse at the University of Miami Infirmary. In 1988, Sigma Theta Tau instituted a Distinguished Lecturer Award in her honor. Miller lived in Miami, Fla., until her death on November 25, 1993.

Ethel Palmer ClarkeEthel Palmer Clarke was born in 1875 in Devon County, England. At the age of 16, she came to the United States with her family and settled in Virginia. After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore in 1906, she served as the superintendent of the De Soto Sanitarium in Jacksonville, Fla., from 1907-1911. From 1911-1914, she was superintendent of the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. After attending Teachers College at Columbia University from 1914-15, she served as director of the Indiana University Training School for Nursing from 1915-1932. While director, she was instrumental to the Founders while they were nursing students in 1922. Prior to her death in 1968, she lived in Clinton, Colo., She lived to be 93 years of age.

 *Copyrighted by Pace University

 
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