Manhattanville College graduates its first postwar nurses

At a time when nurses are in short supply, Manhattanville College in Purchase is answering the call.

At a time when nurses are in short supply, Manhattanville College in Purchase is answering the call.

Recently, the college graduated its first class of nursing students since World War II. They earned official pins, marking their entry into the nursing profession during a year when a worldwide pandemic challenged them to give their all. 

Eleven students were honored in a pinning and award ceremony that celebrated their courage over the last year. Interim President Louise Feroe, Dean Debra Simons and Associate Dean Orhan Hakli all commended the students for their courage and dedication in joining the ranks of health care professionals during Covid-19. 

“We initially thought that some of the students would defer their admission and put their dream of becoming a nurse on hold because of this deadly global pandemic,’’ Hakli said in a statement.  “They said no. They said our patients need us, our nation needs us – now more than ever. When most of us could not even go outside during this pandemic, these brave individuals said that they want to go to hospitals, to be trained to become nurses and help the sick.” 

The pinning ceremony is a tradition dating from the 1880s that was inspired by Florence Nightingale, who blazed the trail for nurses on the frontlines.

As a special surprise, students also heard from alumna Titsa Fotopulos Pelzman, a graduate from the Class of 1949 and the original Manhattanville College school of nursing. The school awarded nursing degrees in the 1940s to prepare nurses to serve in World War II and the postwar era. 

Anne Brandon, Carolyn Brandt, Jennie Chacon, Donna Nicole Crepault, Emily Estrella, Maria Estupian, MaryKate Dichiara, Alicia Gomes, Saquiba Hassan, Sara Hios, and Amanda Peters were recognized for being part of the first cohort to graduate in the college’s contemporary program. Special awards were given to Emily Estrella (Leadership Award and Dean’s Award); Sara Hios (the Caritas Award); Donna Nicole Crepault (the Valiant Nurse Award); and MaryKate Dichiara (the Spirit of Nursing Award). 

In her closing remarks, Simons reminded the new nurse practitioners that the world “hungers for new ideas and solutions” and that “your patients, and the world, are waiting for you.”

Manhattanville launched its new nursing program last year. It offers three degrees in nursing – Bachelor of Science in Nursing for traditional four-year and transfer students, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for second-degree students who already hold a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner.

The school also recently took over the Concordia College Radiologic Technology program, training students for careers in imaging. (Concordia College, a liberal arts college in Bronxville, is closing its doors this fall. Iona College in New Rochelle will take over the campus, allowing Concordia students to finish their degree work.)

For more, visit

More from Georgette Gouveia
Planting seeds in the garden of earthly delights Ever since Eve tempted...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *