Pamela G. Watson, dean of UTMB's School of Nursing, welcomed students, faculty and friends during the school's academic year opening exercises held at Levin Hall recently.


Provost Dr. Garland Anderson congratulated the students on choosing UTMB.

“Our goal is your success,” he said, encouraging them to reach out when they need help and reminding them of the importance of every member of the team doing their best for the patient. “Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift — there is nothing small about it,'" he said, quoting Florence Nightingale. He also read “Redesigning the practice of medicine,” a poem by Pamela Mitchell.

Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and CEO of UTMB Health System, told the students that nursing has become a focal point for her in the past six weeks. While there are many important members of the team that cares for a patient, “the glue that holds the team together is the nurse. You have chosen one of the most noble professions possible.”

Students were invited to introduce themselves and give their hometown, before being presented with a certificate. There are 284 new students enrolled this fall, 160 pursuing a BSN program and 124 in the MSN program. While the majority come from Texas, there are students from around the world including Cameroon, China, India, Kenya and Nepal.