The concept of an annual visiting lectureship began in 1976 with Dr. Kelley’s idea to invite a renowned scholar to the School of Nursing each year to interact and dialogue with faculty and students. As UAB’s doctoral program in nursing was the first in the Southeast and the thirteenth in the nation, Dr. Kelley wanted the School’s doctoral students to have both formal and informal academic exchange with a different visiting scholar each year.
The Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship began in early 1989 with the initiation of fund-raising activities to support an annual lecture to honor the retiring Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Upon reaching the funding goal, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees officially established the Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship on October 27, 1989.
A lectureship in honor of Dr. Kelley was an appropriate tribute for a woman whose exceptional leadership and management skills helped shape and build the UASON’s graduate program. The Lectureship symbolizes Dr. Kelley’s legacy of mentoring students, graduates, and colleagues; perpetuates her high standards of education; and sustains her belief that established scholars should guide and encourage the scholars of the future.