The history of the Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) is one of Dean Janet Krejci’s passions—she loves to talk with alumni and listen to their stories of their memories of Mennonite. She has also met with former administrators, faculty, staff, and friends of MCN to learn more about our history and many of them told her about Bill Dunn’s incredible impact on MCN’s history and success.

Dunn was the chief executive officer of the Mennonite Hospital Association from 1959–1985, chairman of the Mennonite School of Nursing board of directors, and was at the helm when former MCN presidents Jacque Kinder, M.S.’70, Ed.D. ’78, and Kathleen Hogan M.S. ’72, Ed.D ’85, moved to transform the Mennonite School of Nursing to the Mennonite College of Nursing, as we began awarding the baccalaureate.

As MCN moves closer to celebrating 100 years since its inception and 20 years since coming to Illinois State, Krejci wants to capture these important stories that have shaped MCN’s incredible journey and build on the two previous books written about MCN. Krejci and Dunn began to communicate through phone calls and emails and discussed meeting. In July, Krejci and Dunn were finally able to meet. “I was thrilled when Bill agreed to meet with me,” Krejci said. “I took a video camera and probably have four hours of us talking about the history of Mennonite!”

Dunn had a great vision and many innovative practices were implemented during his time in administration. He was a strong advocate for the nursing program, always understanding the key contributions made by the faculty, students, and alumni. His passion for service and mission-driven health care clearly helped to shape the ongoing excellence we live every day at MCN. “We plan to share Bill’s stories as we begin work on capturing the history of MCN’s first century,” Krejci said.

A preplanning anniversary committee is scheduled to meet this fall to outline the process for collecting and telling the incredible story of MCN’s 100 years of nursing and 20 years at Illinois State University, which will be celebrated in 2018-2019.