by James Coburn
Kramer School of Nursing celebrated with two surprises on April 11, and one unveiling by Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby. The third floor of the Kramer School of Nursing was dedicated in April.
The third floor of the modern facility is now called the Marvel L. Williamson Center for Excellence in Nursing Education.
Anoatubby unveiled a painting called “The Healer” by Brent Greenwood, a Chickasaw Nation artist of Oklahoma. Greenwood was commissioned by Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry to create a painting for Kramer School of Nursing. The painting shows a mother and a child with a healer.
“In his paintings, he doesn’t put faces on people, he wants you to think and reflect on the painting to create a feeling of your own,” said Lois Salmeron, RN, associate dean, professor of nursing.
Dean Marvel Williamson was honored for what she has done for the nursing school. Williamson, who is on a brief sabbatical, did not know she would be honored. Henry created an endowed scholarship in her name. Anyone who desires to contribute to the scholarship may send a donation to Oklahoma City University and note on the check that it is for the endowed scholarship of Marvel Williamson. The check may be sent in care of Lois Salmeron at Kramer.
“We are certainly wanting to fully fund this scholarship so we can start giving monies to students for that,” Salmeron said.
Williamson’s vision contributed greatly to the building’s design. Three rooms on the third floor were designed to open for one large meeting space, Salmeron said.
“Kramer School of Nursing gives a minimum of two continuing education offerings statewide,” Salmeron said. “We’re going to be doing five this year. So we designed this space to be able to have these meetings here.”
The area was inaugurated in February with a nurse educator conference. A certified nurse educator conference will be offered there in May, followed by a nurse administrators conference in August. In the fall will be a cultural conference, Salmeron said.
Williamson’s contribution to Kramer with a history of the school is noted on the third floor.
Oklahoma City University established a baccalaureate program in 1981. Nineteen years later, the nursing program was facing very difficult challenges. Key trustees convinced the board not to close the school of nursing but to search for a new dean.
Dr. Williamson was named dean of Kramer School of Nursing in 2001. The nursing school achieved financial viability within 13 months and now generates many more times the revenue than its expenses cost the university.
Enrollment numbers have grown from 50 to 500 students. Program expansion has consisted of increasing numbers of baccalaureate students, the RN to BSN program is on campus and in rural areas.
A Master of Science in Nursing degree program offers two tracks; a Ph.D. in Nursing degree program and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, which offers three tracks including the family nursing practitioner. The Ph.D. program is the first one on the OCU campus.
The Kramer School of Nursing’s tremendous growth in such a short time is the result of the vision of Dr. Williamson. The growth created the need for added space, resulting in constructing Nursing School East.
For her many contributions to the profession of nursing, Dr. Williamson was in the inaugural class of inductees as a fellow in the National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education.
Her name is synonymous with excellence in nursing education, and her vision of great leadership continues to have a far reaching, positive influence, the Kramer tribute reads.
One-hundred-twenty-two people were present for the dedication, including representatives from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
President Henry’s wife, Dr. Jan Henry, donated funds for the lounge.
The Dr. Jan Henry Reception Center is furnished with comfort, and a piano.
“The artwork in the lounge has been provided by President and Mrs. Henry,” Salmeron said. “All of this is their artwork that we have placed here.”
Kramer School of Nursing Dean Marvel Williamson has been honored for her contributions to education at Oklahoma City University with the dedication of the school’s third floor.