As it’s graduation season, we thought it would be fitting to celebrate in style with two recent accessions. The first item, pictured on the left, is a blazer that was donated to us by alumna Gladys Lewis at the Nursing Alumni Weekend in April. The blazer was available for purchase by Duke undergraduates and could be had with or without the Duke seal on the breast pocket. Mrs. Lewis earned both her Bachelors in Nursing (’60) and Masters in Nursing (’62) at Duke and taught nursing students on Osler Ward from 1961-1963. Afterwards she went on to work in hospice care and raise a family before returning to nursing later in her career. Mrs. Lewis was proud of her achievements at Duke and the blazer symbolized that sentiment. Though the blazer is not specific to the School of Nursing, members of the Nursing School Freshman Advisory Council (pictured right) wore theirs for their picture in the 1959 Chanticleer.
The second item is an academic gown that was donated to us by the family of Roger Williams, MD. While our collection is flush with the academic regalia of former faculty and deans, this is the only student gown in our collection. This particular gown (pictured right) is black with a green velvet edge (symbolizing medicine), and blue and white (school colors) for the satin field and chevron. Dr. Williams (pictured left) received his MD in 1947 and interned at Duke after graduating. He did his residency at Ohio State University, during which he was drafted to serve as a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) surgeon during the Korean War. After the war, Williams held professorships at Ohio State University and University of Texas Galveston Medical Center. Finally, in 1968 he became a general surgeon at Broward General Hospital in Florida.
These are but two of the many items in our textile collection here at the Archives. Other items include nursing uniforms, aprons, lab coats, nursing caps, and academic gowns. Please contact us to see these and other items from our Textiles Collection.