Sylvia Hart, founding Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee (UT), passed away Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the age of 87. Hart, a past president of CGFNS International, Inc.(CGFNS), served two terms as President of CGFNS. Current CEO, Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI said, “I was fortunate to know Sylvia as we worked together at the National League for Nursing (NLN) and I will forever be grateful to her for all that she taught me during the NLN years. Sylvia served as NLNs Director for Accreditation Services while I was the Deputy Director. She taught me so much and I will miss her kind, fun and sports loving personality. She was a quiet, compassionate, and extremely bright thought leader. I have and will always treasure the memories of our trip together to Ireland. Sylvia will be missed.”
Catherine Davis, PhD, RN, Director for Learning, Research and Evaluations at CGFNS worked at the company when Dr. Hart served as President of the Board of Trustees: Dr. Davis will represent CGFNS International at the memorial service for Dr. Hart on April 26th, 2016.
Sylvia Hart, PhD, RN, FAAN
Hart was appointed dean in 1971 and served in the position for twenty-one years. She was responsible for launching the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs during her tenure. Hart also obtained federal funding to support construction and equipment for UT’s nursing building.
Prior to this appointment, Hart was the associate dean for undergraduate nursing programs at the State University of New York in Buffalo, an assistant professor of nursing at New York University, and chairwoman of the department of nursing at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“For those that knew Dr. Hart, she was a visionary and true leader,” said Victoria Niederhauser, current College of Nursing dean. “Her legacy lives through the nurses who graduated during her tenure as dean as well as the programs she established in the College of Nursing.”
Hart earned her bachelor’s in nursing from Alverno College, her master’s in nursing from the Catholic University of America, and her doctorate in nursing from New York University.
She achieved national and international recognition for her work in the areas of higher education accreditation, new nursing program initiatives, licensure and regulatory issues, and global alliances.
Hart held leadership positions and board membership in various organizations including the National League for Nursing, the Tennessee League for Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Education for Nursing of the Southern Regional Education Board, and the CGFNS International, Inc.
She was a consultant to more than 120 nursing programs in forty-two states as they sought her expertise related to higher education in nursing and accreditation.
Hart will be buried in Milwaukee. A memorial celebration in Knoxville will be held at a later date.
She is survived by four siblings, several nieces and nephews, and a host of close friends and colleagues from Tennessee and Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sylvia Hart Scholarship Endowment, c/o UT Knoxville College of Nursing Development Office, 1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
On behalf of The CGFNS International Inc.’s Board of Trustees and Staff a contribution of $500 will be made honoring Dr. Sylvia Hart to the CGFNS Adele Herwitz International Distinguished Leadership Scholars Program.