Phyllis McClelland George ’66 decided that she wanted to be a nurse at the age of 12 or 13. “I was reading Sue Barton and Cherry Ames - stories for young girls about nurses and I knew that was what I wanted to do in my own life.” When it came time to apply to college, Phyllis looked at two programs - Cornell University (both her parents graduated from Cornell) and Wagner College (the pastor of her church was a Wagner grad). In the end, Phyllis chose Wagner because she felt that she would do better on a smaller campus. Phyllis said, “Wagner had an early-admissions program, so I applied only to Wagner and was accepted before Thanksgiving of 1961, my senior year in high school, the first in my class to be accepted to college.”
Phyllis and her husband Mike recently included Wagner’s Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing in their estate plans. Phyllis explained why she decided to name Wagner in her will. “I have always wanted to be able to give something back to Wagner for what it gave to me in the form of my nursing education and a wonderful college experience. I have always been very proud to be able to say I graduated from Wagner College, and, back then, believe me, nobody had ever heard of Wagner College! It was also highly unusual for new nursing graduates to have a college education and a BS in Nursing. Nursing was a wonderful career for me; I got to work in many different areas of nursing. There was no opportunity to get bored! My career encompassed critical care, which I absolutely loved, Peace Corps, public health, teaching, nursing home care, nursing administration, occupational health, urgent care, and, finally, back to clinical care as a nurse practitioner working with a surgeon (I absolutely loved that too!) I am so proud of what Wagner College has become and hope that my estate gift will contribute in some small way to the future growth and success of our nursing program.”
For more information about the Heritage Society, a group of dedicated alumni, parents and friends who have decided to name Wagner College in their estate and/or financial plans, please visit the Heritage Society.