Frontier Nursing University (FNU) graduates weren’t the only ones to be honored last month at the 2015 fall commencement ceremony in Hyden, KY, which attracted more than 2000 guests. Dr. Sandra May Perkins and award-winning author Silas House both received honorary doctorates in recognition for their alignment with the vision of FNU founder, Mary Breckinridge. Perkins and House joined more than 550 graduates in receiving honors at the annual FNU commencement ceremony. There were 161 graduates that traveled from a total of 41 states for the ceremony.
It was Breckinridge’s devoted character, passion and dedication for delivering quality health care to underserved and rural populations that founded FNU more than 75 years ago. People like Dr. Perkins and Mr. House continue to make an impact on our world with those same convictions and passions.
Perkins received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her career dedicated to the betterment of maternal and newborn care.
Although her family struggled to survive poverty during her childhood due to the Second World War, Perkins received a scholarship as the first black nurse enrolled in her nursing school and graduated as class valedictorian from the Zion Bible institute. For over 25 years she dedicated her life to advancing the field of Midwifery across the country, making several trips to Africa to conduct classes along the way.
House also received an honorary doctorate for serving as a voice of Appalachian heritage, culture and for his social justice efforts on behalf of the people of Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian region.
FNU traces its roots back to Eastern Kentucky where Breckinridge worked diligently to help the underserved region. Like Breckinridge, House has dedicated his life to telling the stories of Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian region. The faculty and staff of FNU couldn’t be happier to be releasing such quality nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners into the world. And thank you to Dr. Perkins and Mr. House for your service to the underserved.