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Jackie Sweetwood Brownfield

What is your favorite UVA memory?

I met my husband at UVA and we got married in 1954. I graduated in 1951 from the School of Nursing and before I graduated, I was made charge nurse of a private floor at the UVA hospital. I had patients from all over the world and I have loved nursing all my life. For a long time, the diploma nurses at UVA were not recognized, so I got to walk the Lawn in the 1990s.

Is there something you learned at UVA that you apply to your life now?

I’ve nursed all my life. I mean, I’ve had people call me most every day for something or another. I just counseled someone this morning. I don’t do anything dangerous, just help people get through tough times. And I took care of my mother and my mother-in-law and I raised 4 children, and then I took care of my husband who was wheelchair-bound for two and a half years before he passed away.

Tell us a few things about yourself (family, job, things that bring you joy).

I walk. I’ve been doing yoga for 47 years and I go to a trainer once a week, and I also go to acupuncture once a week. I’m on the board of the Fralin Museum and do some meditation there. I’ve got a wonderful family. My youngest daughter is 50 and she lives in Richmond. My husband died four years ago after being married 61 years and it’s hard, but I have a good support system and a wonderful church whose kitchen I’ve worked in for 45 years. I cook dinner for people there all the time now.

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

Empathy, respect. We are all here together and we all need to serve others. We need to respect others.