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Week of September 23, 2013

Obituary


Marjorie Jackson

University of Michigan School of Nursing Associate Professor Emerita Marjorie Jackson died Sept. 5 at the age of 92. Her family invites the public to a memorial service celebrating her life at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, in the Kuenzel Room of the Michigan Union, with a reception to follow.

“We have lost a wonderful champion for nursing and a key innovator in the clinical nurse specialist role,” says UMSN Dean Kathleen Potempa.

After earning her nursing diploma from U-M and a bachelor’s degree in English, Jackson served in World War II as a Navy nurse caring for wounded sailors at a Hawaii military hospital. It’s there she developed a technique for turning burn patients to ease their pain. Those skills would later be recognized more widely when utilized at U-M.

In 1970, Jackson was a coordinator of the clinical nurse specialist initiation at University Hospital. In 1972 she became clinical director of surgical nursing and in 1976 she advanced to director of nursing, supervising more than a thousand nurses. She was known as an innovator in standards of nursing practice. She served on the hospital executive board and was involved in the design of the new hospital.

“Marjorie was a wonderful woman who contributed to the nursing profession in extraordinary ways,” says Margaret Calarco, chief of nursing service at U-M Health System and UMSN adjunct professor. “Her legacy lives on in our nursing community at UMHS.”

Jackson also was dedicated to education. She earned her master’s degree in clinical nursing in the late 1960s, when few nurses obtained graduate degrees. She became a fulltime faculty member at UMSN in 1980 and helped to develop the university’s clinical nursing specialist graduate program. Jackson is the author or co-author of books and many articles on nursing and management — including the importance of humor in effective management.

She was an ardent supporter of the U-M Center for the Education of Women. In 1989, she and her sister, Frances Daseler, created an endowed lectureship at CEW in memory of their older sister, Elizabeth Charlotte Mullin Welch. Given annually, the Mullin Welch lecture brings women of achievement and vision to address the U-M community.

“Marge Jackson was an incredible visionary leader in nursing,” says Carol D. Spengler, former director of Pediatric, Perinatal and Psychiatric Nursing at UMHS and a colleague of Jackson’s. “She was always ahead of her time and nursing at the University of Michigan benefitted from this. I liked Marge’s direct and honest communication, which was also often peppered with her great sense of humor. I admired her for her love of learning. Long after she retired, she continued to take courses so she would continue to learn. Marge was one of a kind and it was special to be a friend of hers. She will be missed but left a wonderful legacy for us to appreciate.”

Jackson received a commendation from the governor of Michigan during a ceremony with students and colleagues when she retired in 1987.

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