The Reasons for Being “Passionately Engaged ” Tuskegee Nursing Alumni…
Supportive of The Legacy

The Tuskegee University School of Nursing has a historical legacy associated with a trend of firsts. It was originally founded by the first female to become licensed to practice medicine in the state of Alabama. The TU Nursing Program later became the first baccalaureate nursing program in Alabama as well. What a legacy…so worthy of the support and protection by its Nursing Alumni.

Lillian Holland Harvey, Ed.D.

Lillian_Holland_Tusekgee(Dean Emeritus) Dean of the School of Nursing
Tuskegee Institute (University) 1948-1973

In 1948, she started the Tuskegee University baccalaureate program in nursing. This was the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state of Alabama. This was achieved at a time when African American nursing students were not allowed to train in white ran hospitals and medical facilities in Alabama and other southern states. “Faced with multiple problems of the time, Dr. Harvey was able to secure many of the social and monetary resources necessary for the maintenance and continuing growth of the school. Throughout her professional experiences she has always shown creative, initiative, and great knowledge in every professional project and position in which she became involved.”


Queen Esther Knight Carter, MSN

Queen_Esther_Knight_Carter Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing
Tuskegee Institute (University)

Queen Carter was lovingly referred to by nursing students during her tenure as…”The Queen.” During a conversation with TUNNAA President, McCarroll in 2005, she stated; “Dean Harvey and I worked together like fine-tuned machines. I would run the School of Nursing while she traveled much to do administrative work on the behalf of the Nursing Department. She had faith in me and knew things were in good hands as she went about her business as Dean.” Often when nursing students came to her with problems, Queen would invite them to engage in conversation about their issues as she would continue walking with hands behind her back and uttering these famous words… “Walk with Carter!” Many problems were resolved during these walks. Queen had formerly served as Dean of the Florida A&M School of Nursing (the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state of Florida) from 1953 – 1956.

Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson, MD

Instructor and Founder of the Nurses’ School and Hospitalhalle_johonson
Tuskegee Institute (1891 – 1894)
Raised primarily in Philadelphia, Johnson was exposed to several prominent African-American social and political activists such as Frederick Douglass. While she studied at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the prominent African- American educator and sociopolitical leader, Booker T. Washington asked college officials to nominate a student for a teaching position at Tuskegee Institute. Johnson accepted the teaching position which included $600 a month as well as room and board. However, before she could begin working, Johnson had to pass the rigorous ten day Alabama State Medical Examination. To prepare for the exam, Washington had Johnson study with Cornelius Nathaniel Dorsette, the first licensed African-American physician in Montgomery, Ala. With the help of Dorsette, Halle Johnson became the first woman–black or white–to pass the exam in 1891. While working at Tuskegee, Dr. Johnson was responsible for providing healthcare services to students, faculty and staff. In addition to providing health services, Johnson taught two classes per day and … founded the Nurses’ School and Hospital for Tuskegee Institute.