“The Health of Humanity”: 125 Years of the Columbia University School of Nursing, 1892-2017 

An Exhibit, February 24 – May 19, 2017

Hammer Health Sciences Center, Lower Level 2

The Columbia University School of Nursing opened 125 years ago this May with 16 students housed in an unused hospital ward. Then called the Presbyterian Hospital Training School for Nurses, it soon became known as one of the best in the country. Its first dean, Anna C. Maxwell, insisted her students receive a strong scientific education along with varied clinical experiences.  Her belief in nursing’s vital role in all aspects of health care is embodied in the Latin motto engraved on the school pin students received upon their graduation: ““Salus Generis Humani,” or “The Health of Humanity.”

Archives & Special Collections of the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit on the history of the Columbia University School of Nursing told through original documents, photographs, and artifacts.

Included are the brochure published by the Presbyterian Hospital announcing the opening of the School; the admissions application of one of the original students; the dress uniform cap of a graduate who served with the Presbyterian Hospital unit in France during World War I; photographs of Maxwell Hall, the School of Nursing’s original home on the Columbia University Medical Center campus; and the School’s first yearbook, Stripes, issued by the Class of 1936. 

The exhibit runs from February 24 to May 19, 2017 and is located on Lower Level 2 of the Hammer Health Sciences Center.  As part of the Teaching and Learning Center, the exhibit area is open 24/7.  A valid Columbia University or New York-Presbyterian Hospital ID is needed to access Hammer, but arrangements can be made for viewing the exhibit by those unaffiliated with the Medical Center.

The exhibit was curated by Stephen Novak, Head, Archives & Special Collections. For more information contact hslarchives@columbia.edu