The Alumnae Association of the Church Home and Hospital School of Nursing was founded in 1904, as stated in its charter, for graduates' "mutual association and improvement, the promotion of fellowship among its members, the advancement of the best interest of trained nurses, and the maintenance and elevation of the standards of professional nursing." In 1914, with Jane Nash's assistance, the association created a nurses' registry to aid in placing graduate nurses in positions. It selected an emblem for its nursing pin, a black Greek cross with the gold embossed monogram of Church Home and Hospital. They chose a motto in German, "Ich dien," or "I serve." In 1920, this motto was changed to its Latin equivalent, "Ego servo." During the years of World War II, the annual dances were cancelled, and members serving in the war were relieved of paying their dues.
One of the association's primary legacies is of financing continuing education and studies of its members. The scholarship fund began in 1930, and continues today. Funds were also devoted to current CHHSON students, who then had to sign a two-year contract to work at CHH, and to alumae to continue their studies elsewhere. In 1984, it inaugurated a scholarship given to a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. The association also acted philanthropically in many other ways; in 1941, they presented the Hospital with a portrait of the Drs. Davis, Hunner, and Cullen.
The alumnae association also has a history of publishing. The first alumnae newsletter was published in 1916. A brief history and yearbook was published in 1929 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the association. In 1954 it commissioned Judith Robinson to author a history of the School and Hospital for its fiftieth anniversary. The resulting book, Ensign on a Hill, is an excellent anecdotal source on the history of these institutions.
The association has an active social calendar, and has a membership-wide meeting, now held in conjunction with the Homecoming celebrations of fellow Consortium for Nursing Education members, Johns Hopkins Nurses' Alumni Association, with whom they formally merged in 2004.
Scope and Content:
The records of the Church Home and Hospital Nurses' Alumnae Association consist of documents outlining its governance, correspondence and several publications. Particularly well-documented are some of the Association's committee activities, especially the Scholarship Committee. Financial records from the period of 1953 to 1973 are also strong. Incomplete but broad series of the Association's newsletter may be found from 1936 to 2003. Copies of the alumnae newsletter provide a record of the association's activities, and note important updates in the lives of its members.
Notes: As the last president and current representative of Church Home graduates in the Alumni Association, Deborah Kennedy often receives materials from alumnae, and then passes them on to the Archives.