Interim Dean Dr. Mary Lou Sole opened the night’s event with a welcome back speech in which she gave special recognition to the classes of 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, who were celebrating their milestone anniversaries from five to 30 years. She also applauded the alumni for their accomplishments in the field of nursing stating, “The College leadership and faculty are so proud of the work you are doing in health care.”

Sole also recognized faculty members in attendance who taught throughout the years, including Frances Smith, Jan Peterson, Joyce Dorner, Juanita Green, Linda Hennig, ’96, and Diane Wink, ’92.

The event included a cocktail hour with appetizers, an evening dinner and music. Attendees were able to reconnect with their former professors and fellow classmates while also reminiscing about their time at UCF. Some shared happy news of what has happened to them since graduation.

Alumna Serafina Di Benedetto, ’95, says her proudest accomplishment has been becoming a Navy nurse. “I experienced a variety of different areas in nursing through a military career.”

Other alumni shared their most memorable UCF moments. Alumna Sharon Bowne, ’03, says her public health nursing course left a lasting impression after time spent at a low-income housing project as part of the Cocoa Community Nursing Coalition. “I love interacting with patients and making a difference in people’s lives.”

For alumna Loreen (Caldwell) Hand, ’81, ’13, who was part of the first class of BSN graduates, getting accepted into UCF’s nursing program after being on the waiting list is a memory she fully cherishes.

Most though, agreed that graduation was their most memorable moment because it signified a tremendous accomplishment, one that took time and hard work to obtain.

“All your hard work pays off,” says two-time alumna Fameisha (Grant) Williams, ’06, ’11. “There are many sacrifices, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

Annie O’Donnell, assistant director for college relations, outreach and engagement, thanks the alumni, faculty and friends that came out to celebrate this year’s second nursing alumni reunion. “It was a great turnout, with the number of attendees tripling that of last year’s event.”

Pictures from the reunion can be viewed on the College of Nursing’s Alumni Chapter Facebook page.