Pierce invested as Christine Hartley Professor at the KU School of Nursing

May 14, 2014

By Toni Cardarella

Girod and Janet Pierce investitureBefore an audience of colleagues, mentors, family and friends, Janet Pierce, Ph.D., APRN, was formally invested Monday as the Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professor in Nursing at the University of Kansas School of Nursing.

"Today, Dr. Janet Pierce is joining a league of prominent faculty who hold endowed professorships at the University of Kansas Medical Center," said Executive Vice Chancellor Doug Girod, M.D.

Endowed professorships have helped to attract and retain outstanding faculty and researchers to the University of Kansas for more than 40 years, and serve as a foundation for KU Medical Center's research and clinical success, Girod said.

The Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professorship was funded with a $500,000 gift from School of Nursing alumna Christine Hartley and her husband, Ross Hartley, to celebrate the School's 100th Anniversary in 2006. The first professorship was awarded in 2007 to Judith J. Warren, Ph.D., RN, who retired last year.

Pierce's research focuses on cardio-pulmonary measures to address illness management related to hemorrhagic shock. In addition to her faculty position in the School of Nursing, she is an adjunct professor in the KU Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology.  Before handing over the podium to the next speaker, Girod noted he too was a U.S. Navy member. Pierce served 25 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves and retired as captain in 2012.

"As captain she would have been my ranking officer," Girod said and turned to Pierce. "I salute you then and now."  

Jerome Davies, senior vice president for development at KU Endowment, also spoke at the ceremony, which was held in the School of Nursing Auditorium and followed by a reception in the atrium.  It's always great to get the opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of donors and their investment in "human capital," he said.

Christine Hartley, who worked as an ICU nurse and critical care instructor, knew the important role of endowed professorships and attracting and retaining faculty. He said the Hartleys couldn't be at the event and asked the audience to join him in thanking them. The audience answered with wholehearted applause.  "It's a real treat to see the baton being passed forward today," Davies said.    

Karen Miller, senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at KU Medical Center and dean of the KU School of Nursing, spoke of Pierce's accomplishments as a professor and researcher, and recalled her vocal support behind basic sciences and translational medicine classes in the nursing curriculum.   Miller said acknowledging talented nursing faculty is one of the pleasures she reaps as the dean.

"Dr. Pierce, it's a joy to recognize you today," Miller said.  

Cynthia Teel, associate dean of graduate programs at the KU School of Nursing, cited Pierce's unwavering commitment to inquiry, and shared a long list of achievements, including a just-awarded two-year research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. She called Pierce a "master of encouragement," and a remarkable teacher, researcher and citizen.

"She's an exemplar of excellence," said Teel, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

Next, Miller presented Pierce with the medallion symbolizing the investiture and Pierce wore it to the podium.   "Now I know why Academy Award winners always get up there and worry about not properly thanking everyone," she said. "I want to be sure I don't leave anyone out."

Pierce, who joined the KU School of  Nursing more than 20 years ago, went on to recognize her husband, longtime friends, research and faculty colleagues as well as mentors in the audience.

"Thank you for this prestigious award," she said.

Last modified: May 15, 2014