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University Archives

Ruth McGrorey (1915-1977)

Ruth McGrorey, 1977 Professor / Dean
School of Nursing
Years at UB: 1956-1962, 1966-1977

University Archives collection: 38/F/619

Ruth McGrorey, as a nurse and an educator, was instrumental in revising UB's Nursing curriculum and in expanding the profession's role in the health care field. While at UB, she encouraged her students and faculty to become involved in their communities and recruited numerous students of various backgrounds to the program.

McGrorey graduated with a diploma in Nursing Education from the Buffalo City Hospital and the University of Buffalo in 1936. Six years later she received a bachelor's in Nursing as a member of the UB's School of Nursing's first graduating class. In 1947, McGrorey continued her education at Columbia University where she received her M.A. and then her Ed.D. in 1955.

Before coming to UB, McGrorey worked in a number of nursing and administrative positions. From 1942 to 1945, McGrorey was Educational Director of Pediatrics at Hamot Hospital in Pennsylvania. During World War II, McGrorey served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S Army Nurse Corps. She then went on to work as the Associate Director of Education at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey from 1946-1949, and as the Assistant Editor of the American Journal of Nursing from 1949-1950. She also served as the Chairman of the Department of Basic and General Nursing at Seton Hall University in New Jersey (1950-1953) and Chairman of the Department of Nursing for Canisius College (1953-1956).

Some of McGrorey's most notable work was while working as a Consultant in Nursing for the Paraguay Project (University Archives collection 19/1/708). This project was initiated by the US State Department Project to provide the National University at Asuncion with UB's health sciences expertise. A three-year contract was signed between the Health Servicio of Paraguay and UB in 1956 and renewed continuously until 1971. The contract set up an exchange whereby Paraguayan doctors were sent to study at UB and two Buffalo faculty members, in addition to short-term consultants were sent Paraguay. While in Paraguay McGrorey helped to develop a Nursing School at Asuncion. McGrorey also implemented many changes nationally, helping to bring Paraguayan nursing and medical standards on par with North American standards. In 1962, Asuncion honored McGrorey with the Distinguished Visiting Professor title and in 1969 an honorary doctorate.

After holding a number of other posts in government and academe, McGrorey returned to UB as the Dean of the School of Nursing in 1966, a position which she held until 1974. After her resignation from the deanship, McGrorey continued to be involved in nursing education at UB and nationally until her death in 1977. She was president-elect of the New York State Nurses Association District #1 and served as the Vice-President of the New York State League for Nursing.

After her death a scholarship fund was created in her name for the UB school of Nursing. The Ruth T. McGrorey Award for Excellence in Nursing is given to a student who demonstrates excellent knowledge of nursing theory and excellence in nursing practice.


Other Photographs

Ruth McGrorey, 1972 Ruth McGrorey at her desk