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Thiry Society

About the Thiry Academic Society

The Thiry Society is the academic society for the KU School of Nursing-Salina campus. Named after Roberta Thiry, an influential member of the Kansas nursing community and former KU School of Nursing faculty, the society was created to provide students with opportunities to connect with each other, faculty and with the community to develop a sense of belonging. All Salina nursing students are inducted in to the Thiry Society during the Nightingale Ceremony.

The society meets monthly to allow students to establish professional relationships and gain professional development resources. Several members of the Salina nursing community have shared about their role in a variety of nursing positions such as in a correctional facility, a manufacturing setting, and the more traditional hospital setting.

Students have a chance to connect to the Salina community through various service projects. The Thiry Society organized a donation drive, collecting food items, toiletries and laundry detergent, for the Martin Youth Center. Society members have volunteered for Ashby House, helped with Fe for a Cure, and decorated the Morrison House for the Holiday Home Tours. They also participated in the Festival of Lights Parade in downtown Salina. 


SON-S Roberta Thiry

While pursuing a PhD in the KU Nurse Scientist Program in 1973, Roberta Thiry also was a research associate at KU school of Nursing. Her work focused on communications and human relations. Following completion of her doctoral studies, Dr. Thiry moved in a faculty role at KU School of Nursing, where she taught for the next four years.

After leaving KU, Dr. Thiry became associate dean of graduate nursing at the Medical College of Georgia and then she returned to Kansas as chair of the Department of Nursing at Pittsburg State University in 1979. Roberta also was an integral part of the development of an Associate Degree nursing program at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas. Over her career, Dr. Thiry was involved in many professional nursing organizations, particularly in advancing nursing education in Kansas. She was first secretary and then president of the Kansas State Board of Nursing. She retired in 1996, leaving behind a legacy of endowed student scholarships at two Kansas schools and the Kansas Nurses Foundation. Her contributions to nursing in Kansas were further honored in 2017, as the KU School of Nursing's newest Academic Society - developed for the new Salina campus-is named after Dr. Thiry.

Last modified: Sep 19, 2018