Endowed nursing lectureship will focus on the future of nursing and health care

Dr. Virginia Hill Rice established an annual lectureship on nursing science and health care.

The Wayne State University College of Nursing recently received substantial endowment funds from Virginia Hill Rice, Ph.D., RN, CNS, FAAN to establish an annual lectureship on nursing science and health care.

“Dr. Rice’s generous endowment recognizes the stature of the work done in the college,” said Dean Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo. “It will allow us to invite a national leader to engage in important dialog at the start of each academic year. This nationally recognized speaker will help us keep our eyes, with laser-like focus, on the future of nursing.”

The first Dr. Virginia Hill Rice Endowed Distinguished Lectureship will take place in fall 2018. Individuals of international and national reputation will be invited to campus to share their futurist’s perspective on nursing and health care with Wayne State faculty, students, residents and community partners. The annual presentation will be free and open to the general public.

“I always knew I was going to make a gift to the college after I retired from the nursing faculty,” Dr. Rice said. “I considered a few options, but realized what a unique and important opportunity I had to establish the college’s first endowed, annual nursing lectureship.”

An advisory committee made up of three to five nursing faculty members will meet each year to recommend a speaker for the lecture to the dean. Each year, they will select a new topic within the natural, social and applied sciences, emphasizing health and life sciences, in accordance with Dr. Rice’s intentions. It is expected that the lecturer will also engage with students and faculty through additional opportunities provided by their visit.

Dr. Rice said, “The College of Nursing does essential work generating new nursing knowledge and validating it.” She noted she would love to see an increase in projects between the Wayne State College of Nursing and School of Medicine given that “WSU has national leaders across disciplines.”

Dr. Rice is an emerita professor of nursing at Wayne State. She holds a doctorate in social psychology, and she received her master’s as a clinical nurse specialist in medical-surgical nursing from Wayne State in 1965.

She began her time on the Wayne State faculty when she was hired as a part-time assistant professor in the College of Nursing in 1982. Dr. Rice received a full-time associate professor appointment in 1986, was tenured in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1997.

During her time at Wayne State, Dr. Rice developed an extensive track record of funded research from the National Institutes of Health, Michigan Department of Community Health, American Heart Association, and Shoman Foundation in Jordan. She has numerous publications and national and international presentations in stress and coping, patient teaching and tobacco control. In addition, Dr. Rice produced two editions of the Handbook of Stress, Coping, and Health: Implications for Nursing Research, Theory, and Practice.

As a faculty member, Dr. Rice served in numerous committee roles, including vice president of the Academic Senate, chair of the Wayne State Centers and Institutes Committee, chair of the College of Nursing Faculty Association and faculty representative on the Board of Visitors.

For her exemplary work, Dr. Rice has been recognized with a number of honors and awards:

  • 2011 College of Nursing Lifeline and Alumna of the Year Award
  • Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Research
  • Midwest Nursing Research Society’s Advancement of Science Award
  • Governor’s Recognition for Contribution to the Tobacco-Free Michigan Action Coalition
  • Michigan Public Health Institute’s Outstanding Leadership and Service Award
  • Leadership Award for Community Research from the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
  • 2012 Greater Detroit Distinguished Volunteer Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Crossroads of Michigan Outstanding Community Service Award, for 20 years of volunteer service

Dr. Rice retired from the university in 2015 and was granted professor emeritus status. In retirement, she has continued her community service with Crossroads of Michigan and the Holley Institute for the deaf and hearing impaired, which was co-founded by her husband, Dr. William Rice, an alumnus of Wayne State’s School of Medicine. Dr. Rice is the proud mother of two accomplished sons, Dr. Grantland S. Rice, the founder of Academic Partners, an academic advisory firm, and Garrett L. Rice, a senior partnership manager at Apple, Inc.

(April 16, 2018)

All impact stories

Related stories