Fresh Vision for Julia Hereford Society

JHS members Claire Van Benschoten and Robert Laben

Members of the Julia Hereford Society (JHS) attended a special celebration recognizing their support of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in April. The event was hosted by Dean Linda Norman and organized as a way to honor and thank JHS members for giving to VUSN.

JHS is the School of Nursing’s donor society, dedicated to fundraising for student scholarships. JHS was established in 1984 by Dean Colleen Conway-Welch to honor the legacy of former dean Julia Jane Hereford, Ph.D., R.N., for her significant contribution to VUSN and to honor those who generously support the School of Nursing.

As part of the festivities, Norman shared details about the new building expansion project for the school (see page 8) as well as presented highlights and accomplishments of faculty and students.

JHS members were also able to meet this year’s JHS scholar, Hannah Garrison Nolte. Nolte is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner student slated to graduate in August. “Being a nurse is truly a privilege,” she said. “Ideally I would like to work with a population with a history of psychological trauma in a setting that emphasizes holistic care including therapy.”

JHS members Adrienne Ames, MSN ‘75, Brad Akard, and Terrah Foster Akard, MSN ‘01, PhD ‘08

Norman told the members that one of her priorities is to have more money available for scholarships. “Our average scholarship for a MSN student is $7,500, but if we could award a larger scholarship amount, it would help our students decrease their debt burden. Over 75 percent of our MSN students qualify for full federal financial aid— meaning that their income level upon entry to the MSN program is below what they could afford to contribute to tuition and living expenses,” she said. “Every full-time DNP student is guaranteed a $3,500 per year scholarship, but that is a small amount compared to the cost of tuition.”

Norman also announced the formation of a new Julia Hereford Society Advisory Committee that will assist in promoting the society and recruiting new donors. The members are Naji Abumrad, M.D.; Ashley Bernard, MSN ‘15, expected DNP ‘17; Tom Christenbery, MSN ‘87, Ph.D. ‘04; Marilyn Dubree, MSN ‘76; Mary Kate FitzPatrick, DNP ‘12; Cara Osborne, MSN ‘01; and Linda Rebrovick.


Julia Hereford Society members are donors who make annual gifts of $2,500 and up to the School of Nursing. Alumni who received their Vanderbilt School of Nursing degrees within the last 10 years are eligible for membership with a commitment of $1,000 annually. There are four recognition levels:

$2,500 ($1,000 for Recent Graduates)

$5,000 – $9,999

Dean’s List
$10,000 – $24,999

Cornelius Vanderbilt
$25,000 – $99,999

$100,000 and up

To learn more, go to nursing/