MAILED: Oct. 16, 2000
Marguerite P. Coffman, the founding dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, died Sept. 23 in Overland Park, Kan. She was 89.
She was appointed to the university in 1964 to carry out preliminary studies to the establishment of a School of Nursing. Her work brought the School to reality in the fall of 1965, when she was appointed dean and the first class of 22 sophomores began their professional studies. Under her leadership the School earned full accreditation from the National League for Nursing in 1969, a U.S. Public Health Service grant in 1967 for construction of the building, occupancy of the building in 1969, admission of R.N. students wishing to pursue a degree in 1974, and entitlement from the UW System Board of Regents to plan a master degree program in 1976. She retired in 1977.
Dean Coffman received her diploma in nursing from the University of Kansas in 1937, a bachelor's degree in public health nursing from George Peabody College in 1947 and a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Chicago in 1950. Prior to her appointment at Eau Claire, she was educational consultant for the Kansas State Board of Nursing and served on the faculty at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She received the 1977 University of Kansas School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award and in 1991 became an honorary alumna of UW-Eau Claire. The Marguerite P. Coffman Lecture Series was established at UW-Eau Claire in 1977.
She is survived by a brother, Melvin Coffman, and a nephew, Joel Coffman. Memorials may be made to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation for the Marguerite Coffman Memorial Fund. By order of the chancellor, the flag atop Schofield Hall will be at half-staff Monday, Oct. 16, in her honor.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 16, 2000