The Mennonite Nurses Alumni Organization presented several awards at the annual awards and reunion banquet in May.

In the photo: Back row: Ryan Schneider, Terrence Tapley, front row: Chance
Tapley, Joanne Maitland, Eric Tapley, Jr.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest award Mennonite College of Nursing bestows upon its graduates. Paula Steele Boland, CRNA, Class of 1958, was selected as the 2011 recipient of this prestigious award.  Boland received her diploma from Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing; a B.A. from Malone University in Canton, Ohio; and graduated from Aultman Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia. She served on the board of the Ohio Perinatal Association and received the Nurse of the Year Award from the Aultman Hospital OB/GYN Residents. Boland continues to support Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University because she feels it is important to support our present and future nurses. She knows the spirit of the Mennonite nursing traditions will continue and that there will be even greater opportunities and need for future nursing graduates.

The 2011 Early Career Achievement Alumni Award was presented to Ryan Schneider. Schneider received his B.S.N. from Mennonite College of Nursing in 2005. After graduation, he moved to St. Louis where he worked in the Emergency Department at Barnes Hospital. He continued his education and received his M.S.N. as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from St. Louis University. He works at two centers: St. Joseph Health in St. Charles and St. Joseph West in Lake St. Louis. He continues to work in the Emergency Department as an APRN, and cares for anyone age 13 and older in all capacities.

Trustee Joanne Maitland was the recipient of the Service Award. She has spent her life in McLean County and has served in a volunteer capacity for more than 23 area organizations. She served on the Mennonite College of Nursing Board from 1985 to 1991 and has remained a friend to the college. She attends many nursing events as an honored guest. Her commitment to MCN, McLean County organizations, and Illinois State University (ISU trustee member since 2002) is truly remarkable.

Eric Tapley was selected for The Spirit of Nursing Award (posthumous), for his never-ending dedication to the profession of nursing. Tapley was recruited to Illinois State University from Harper High School in the Southside of Chicago to play football. He was a three-year starter and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Physical Education. He later pursued a second degree at Mennonite College of Nursing, and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1996.  Tapley pursued a career in Emergency Nursing at Advocate BroMenn Regional Emergency Department in Normal, OSF Saint Francis Emergency Department in Peoria, and OSF Saint Joseph Emergency Department in Bloomington. Tapley was a living testimony to the values of Mennonite College of Nursing, and unexpectedly passed away in May, 2010. He will be missed for his laughter, smile, colorful scrubs, but most of all his heart. Several members of the Tapley family attended the awards banquet, and his brother, Terrence, and two sons, Eric and Chance, accepted the Spirit of Nursing Award. The Eric Tapley, B.S.N. Heartland Emergency Specialists, LLC Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in his memory.