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Noles Transcript

Presentation of the Buffalo AAUW Achievement Award

Introduction | Images from the Exhibition | Oral History Interview | Noles Transcript | Eva M. Noles Finding Aid

The Achievement Award of the Buffalo Branch, American Association of University Women is given annually to a woman "whose contribution to the welfare of the community merit recognition."

This award pays tribute to women who through their dedication to the community and the development of their own skills have given to their fellowmen a "gift of achievement." The Buffalo Branch has elected to be the medium by which each year such women may be so honored.

Our 30th Achievement Award winner is MRS. EVA M. NOLES.

The Achievement Award Committee has unanimously voted to present the Award to Mrs. Noles in recognition of the contribution which she is making as "Healer of Bodies and Breaker of Barriers."

As a young woman just graduated from a Buffalo high school, Eva M. Bateman applied to the School of Nursing at Erie County's Meyer Memorial Hospital [today known as the Erie County Medical Center], where no black had ever attended. She was accepted. Eva M. Bateman, now Mrs. Eva M. Noles, broke the barrier that kept blacks from a nursing career in Buffalo, and she's been breaking barriers all the way along her climb to Director of Nursing at Roswell Park Medical Institute in Buffalo, where she is the first black nursing chief of a State facility.

Not satisfied with her nursing degree from Meyer in 1940, Mrs. Noles has since obtained an undergraduate degree and a master's degree in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

After her graduation from nursing school, she worked at Meyer, Sisters [of Charity], and Columbus Hospitals before joining Roswell as a staff nurse.

Eva Noles reached the top of her profession by "rising through the ranks" during her 27 years at Roswell.

Her efforts for the recognition of nurses were rewarded in 1970 when she wrote a letter to Governor Rockefeller [then governor of New York State] suggesting that he proclaim a state-wide nursing week to boost morale among nurses in New York State.

The Govenor agreed and designated May 24-30, 1970, NURSES WEEK.

Mrs. Noles' memberships include:

  • American Nurses' Association
  • New York State Nurses' Association
  • Health Organization of Western New York
  • American Red Cross
  • Pi Lambda Theta
  • Zonta International

She has held several offices in these organizations.

In 1964, she was chosen as one of eight semi-finalists for the Mary Mahoney Award of the American Nurses' Association, an award named after the Nation's first black graduate and presented every two years in recognition of outstanding contributions to integration in nursing.

She was also cited by the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Nursing on its 125th Anniversity for her influence on nursing and social betterment of the community.

In 1966, she was chosen for her accomplishments in nursing as "Woman of the Year," by the Buffalo Region of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, Inc.

She has written numerous articles on nursing procedures for medical publications.

The most recent appointment [in 1972] for Mrs. Noles was through the office of New York State Commissioner Nyquist to teh Committee of External Degree for Nursing. The committee will explore this new concept of nursing education which is similar to that of a university without walls.

Mrs. Noles has served as a lecturer for the Negro Scholarship Foundation Organization which provides guidance and counseling in career planning for high school students with emphasis on nursing. She has worked with the Buffalo Board of Education's Summer and Fall Program for high school students from 1964 to the present time [1972].

For many years, Mrs. Noles has also worked with the Negro Registered Nurses Club to provide scholarships and other financial assistance for negro girls who wish to study nursing.

More than 100 black girls have followed in her footsteps to nursing careers in Buffalo, a fact in which Mrs. Noles takes great pride.

It is my privilege on behalf of the Buffalo Branch of the American Association of University Women, to present EVA M. NOLES this Achievement Award.