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Patricia Booth Woodard

What is your UVA story?

I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Nursing before full coeducation. Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing in Virginia were only offered at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV –now VCU Medical Center)in Richmond and UVA. My mother was teaching at MCV, plus I wanted a residential collegeexperience. So it was UVA for me. I did my two years of pre-nursing at Mary WashingtonCollege. My future husband Keith and I started at UVA at the same time, sharing manywonderful times at the University.

What is your favorite UVA memory?

My favorite memory was getting my diploma in the Rotunda, the culmination of four years of hard work. Another favorite memory was dating Keith with the restrictions we female students had, such as not being allowed to wear pants or shorts on Grounds. Finding places to date was also a challenge.

Tell us about a woman/women at UVA who inspires you – now, or during your time on Grounds.

Nursing students formed a close bond with each other. McKim Hall was a dorm, classrooms, labs and faculty offices. Plus, it was attached by a breezeway to the hospital where we did our clinical. We took an elective each semester and I looked forward to the change of scenery on those days. Spending so much time with our fellow classmates and the close bond that was formed led to my involvement in the School of Nursing Alumni Association and the UVA Alumni Association. One woman who inspired me while I was a student was Dr. Phyllis Verhonick, who came to the School of Nursing to teach a new course in nursing research, one of the first in a BSN program in the U.S. She was one of the first two doctoral prepared faculty in nursing at UVA and she inspired all of us to incorporate clinical research into our work. Another person I would add is Dr. Barbara Brodie. She was a mentor for me as faculty and I saw her inspire many women and men who were pursuing advanced nursing degrees at UVA.

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

My advice for current students is to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered that interest you. And when you graduate, stay connected and find ways to pass on to future students some of what you have gained here.