Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship


Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship

The Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship was established in 1989 to honor the retiring Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Dr. Jean A. Kelley left an enduring legacy: pioneering the first doctoral program in the Southeast, carrying the School’s master’s program to outlying communities, and educating nurses to aspire to the highest levels of achievement.

The concept of a visiting lectureship began with Dr. Kelley’s vision of providing doctoral students and faculty the unique experience of having both a formal and informal academic exchange with a different renowned scholar each year. Dr. Kelley’s teaching methods are just as significant today as they were so many years ago.

The Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship is an appropriate tribute for a woman whose exceptional leadership and management skills helped shape and build the UAB School of Nursing’s graduate and doctoral programs. 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.


About Dr. Jean A. Kelley


Professor Emerita Jean A. Kelley, EdD, RN, FAAN (1930-2018), retired Associate Dean for Graduate Programs who built and shaped the graduate and doctoral programs at the UAB School of Nursing and laid the foundation of excellence that has helped propel the School into the top 10 percent in the nation, began her affiliation with the UAB School of Nursing when she entered the baccalaureate program on the Tuscaloosa campus in 1954.

About Dr. Jean A. Kelley 3

After earning her BSN, she spent three years in New York while she and husband Clarence both earned advanced degrees from New York University. Dr. Kelley came back to UAB in 1959, becoming a faculty member in the School. She taught in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, and began a tradition of outstanding teaching and dedicated attention to the success of her students.

The Dr. Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship was an appropriate tribute for a woman whose exceptional leadership and management skills helped shape and build the UAB School of Nursing’s graduate and doctoral programs. 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.

By 1964, as the mother of three small children, she decided to take a break from teaching. It didn’t last. She agreed to head a Birmingham-based program involving three nursing schools and Children’s Hospital — a program in need of special skills and leadership. Once that program was on solid ground, Dr. Kelley agreed to return to the UAB School of Nursing, which moved from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham in 1967.

Dr. Kelley served the School as Chair of the Department of Administration — Supervision of Nursing Practice and spent her last 19 years as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, where her strong leadership directed the growth of nursing at a local, state, regional and national level. She expanded the vision of nursing at UAB and was instrumental in expanding the Master’s program, carrying it to outlying communities.

She also developed the first professional doctoral program in nursing in the Southeast at UAB, educating nurses to aspire to the highest levels of achievement and serving as a mentor for numerous students who have gone on to serve in national and international leadership positions. She also had direct involvement in founding master’s in nursing programs at the University of South Alabama, University of Alabama at Huntsville and Troy University. The outcomes of her commitment and vision are reflected in the hundreds of nurses who are faculty members, deans of nursing schools and nurse scientists, not only in Alabama but also throughout the United States.

Dr. Kelley was nationally recognized for her contributions to the profession with her induction as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and was among the 11 individuals in the inaugural class inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to health care in Alabama. Dr. Kelley was one of only two nurses selected. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the UAB School of Nursing’s 60 Visionary Leaders for her dedication to the growth and development of tomorrow’s nurse leaders and was recognized at the 2010 Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Annual Meeting for her significant contributions to nursing education. Dr. Kelley also is a recipient of UAB’s Distinguished Faculty Award, UAB School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni Award and served a term as the president of the School of Nursing’s Alumni Association.

Even in retirement, Dr. Kelley continued to play an active role in nursing education. She maintained involvement in many nursing activities, including her leadership in the SREB Nursing Education Programs, continuing to teach selected courses and sessions, present papers and provide consultation, and being a member of the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group.


Past Dr. Jean A. Kelley Lecturers


2019 Dr. Julie Fairman
2018 Dr. Elaine Larson
2017 Dr. Jean McSweeney
2016 Dr. Gail D'Eramo Melkus
2015 Dr. Jacqueline Campbell
2014 Dr. Terry Fulmer
2013 Dr. Marie Bakitas
2012 Dr. Pam Hinds
2011 Dr. Souraya Sidani
2010 Dr. May L. Wykle
2009 Dr. Nancy Fugate Woods
2008 Dr. Marita Titler
2007 Dr. Jean Johnson
2006 Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk
2005 Dr. Karen Meneses
2004 Dr. Geraldine Bednash
2003 Dr. Sandra Dunbar
2002 Dr. Catherine Gilliss
2001 Dr. Margarete Sandelowski
2000 Dr. Cynda Rushton
1999 Dr. Judith Maloni
1998 Dr. Suzanne Feetham
1997 Dr. Araf I. Meleis
1996 Dr. Nancy Kline Leidy
1995 Dr. Betty Ferrell
1994 Dr. Nancy Fugate Woods
1992 Dr. Karin Kirchhoff
1991 Dr. Betty Neuman