President’s Report: Deb Baker

President’s Report: Deb Baker

From the 113th Annual Business Meeting of
The Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association (JHNAA)

Deb Baker, MSN, RN, ACNP, President, JHNAA

The days leading up to Homecoming are much like those leading up to the holidays or a wedding. Thousands of last minute details to attend to and worry over coupled with the excitement of seeing everyone who is coming “home.” During the days of celebration, moods are high and the days that seem endless are packed with activity. And the very next day the disbelief that another big event (which seemed to have lasted seconds) had come and gone after months of preparation. Homecoming 2005 passed by quickly but a good time was had by all. Beginning with the Friday evening cocktail party, a diverse group of Hopkins alumni came together in a festive and casual atmosphere to mingle with old friends, other alumni, and students. The rain that seems to accompany us every year did not stop the party, and it continued into Saturday. The luncheon featured a light and humorous slide presentation by the class of 1955, wonderful speeches and outstanding food. Sally Sample ’54 received the Distinguished Alumna award from Dr. William Brody for a life of nursing service and leadership. Thanks to Lois Hoffer, the homecoming committee and the development office for another memorable homecoming weekend.
It has been a productive year with some new projects and maintenance of the big projects started over the past few years. As stated at the meeting last year, our goal for the board this year was to find ways to incorporate the most recent classes into the association. To that end we have encouraged board members to attend current student events and to reach out to them. This is a big task for a few people, but we made strides and connections. Homecoming, like all end-of-the-year celebrations, calls for a time of reflection and analysis of the past year’s events and accomplishments. My personal perspective was shared at the annual meeting along with those of the committee chairs. These reports can be downloaded at right.

The gesture that was the most responsive to the students and initiated a tradition that we hope will have longevity was the purchasing of the university pin for new grads. We hope to combine this pinning with our graduation party to begin and kindle our relationship with our newest (and most energetic) members. Our membership committee, led by Beth Cooper ’97, has been fabulous with planning activities that include both our new and older alumni. Please stay tuned and join us in meeting the members of our bright future.

Another great initiative was formally welcoming the CHH alumnae to join our family as consortium alumnae. They have increased our numbers and brought a diverse richness to our archives and events. We look forward to a long relationship with them.

The ongoing projects that include the book and the archives continue to thrive and do well. Because of the leadership and participation in these committees, our legacy is well restored.

By the end of the year, I realized that if there is one clear message I needed to get across to the larger association it is to “get involved.” We need our alumni to attend events with students, participate on our committees, and volunteer for our community—side by side with our students and fellow alumni in the East Baltimore community. Our board and committees are populated with the same dedicated people year after year. Each homecoming, as I speak with many of you from years past, I come away thinking how terrific it would be to see you more frequently and to have you involved with our new alumni. Our students yearn for the connection to our past and the wisdom of our experience to help shape their future. There is no substitute for mentoring, and its dividends are endless for both parties. Consider this a formal invitation to join us throughout the year. The board and I look forward to hearing from you!


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