SON Hosts Tribute to, Establishes Fund to Honor Elizabeth Tornquist

Gray skies and chilly spring temperatures gave way to warm sunshine just in time for the SON’s celebration of Elizabeth Tornquist—”ET” to all who knew her here—on Tuesday night.

A crowd of current and former faculty and staff, alumni, Tornquist family and friends gathered in Fox Auditorium to pay tribute to the life and work that affected so many so positively. An editor of uncanny insight and skill, Tornquist mentored SON faculty, indeed nursing faculty the world over, to unprecedented success in grant funding and publication.

“Nursing was her special cause — and thanks God for that — we needed her!” said Mary Champagne, Dean Emerita of the Duke School of Nursing and former SON faculty member. “I doubt there is anyone more responsible for helping researchers with good ideas for improving health care get grant funding than our Elizabeth.”

Further remarks and readings were offered by Deans Emerita Cindy Freund and Linda Cronenwett, by professors Mary Lynn and Linda Beeber, by Interim Dean Donna Havens and by Chrish Peel, Elizabeth’s nephew.

The tribute was followed by a reception featuring some of ET’s favorite recipes, catered by her daughter Amy, a celebrated chef and restaurateur in Durham.

A fund has been set up to honor ET’s extraordinary legacy — the Elizabeth Muse Tornquist Endowment for Scientific Writing — designed to fund programs and other activities to support the writing efforts of faculty, students, health care clinicians and scientists from many disciplines both at the SON and across the country. Programs may include institutes for scientific writing, terms for editors-in-residence, workshops, and lectureships—all designed to continue in some fashion ET’s remarkable contributions. Click here to donate to the fund.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the celebration of Elizabeth’s life in the summer issue of Carolina Nursing.