Class of '47 Reunion

All members of February 1947 class were Cadet Nurses. World War II heightened the demand for trained nurses and the Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital School of Nursing graduated two classes in 1947: the first class of 12 graduated in February and the second class of 20 graduated in August.

“When we arrived at the dorm, we were assigned roommates,” remembers Betty, affectionately known as “Goldie.” What they couldn’t have known then was that the relationships they formed during that first semester would last more than seven decades.

Betty’s home was in Glenvil, just 12 miles from Hastings, so she got to go home about once a month. Rationing of most resources (gas, meat, sugar, etc.) restricted travel, so when Betty went home she brought friends with her. They could always count on plenty to eat and encouragement to make their families proud. Hitch-hiking was common, but Betty’s family usually provided transportation.

“Your classmates became your family,” said Betty. “Most of us had relatives involved in the war effort, so family was very important.”

Students spent a rotation (usually three months) at Ingelside, the state hospital for the Incurably Insane. Student nurses lived in a dorm and learned about this self-sustaining state institution and the care its residents received.

“After all these years, my education still helps me,” said Betty. She recently visited with a friend about treatment options and made suggestions based on patients’ experiences.

The friends met for a weekend of remembrance and celebration, October 2016, and shared these pictures with the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation.