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A nursing student was photographed at the Mennonite College of Nursing in 1925.

NORMAL — Centennials are a time for looking back and looking ahead.

At its gala celebration on Saturday, Illinois State University's Mennonite College of Nursing will have a "fashion show" of nursing uniforms from the past 100 years. It will include not only what was happening in the nursing profession at the time but also society at large.

Dean Judy Neubrander said the college also will announce a significant gift.

It's too late to get tickets to the gala, but at 4:15 p.m. Friday, the college will dedicate the Centennial Garden, just outside of Edwards Hall.

The garden, with stone benches, a water feature and a commemorative brick path, will be “a nice place for students to meet” and also shows how the college is “a big part of the university,” said Neubrander.

There were 15 students in the school's first graduating class. This May, about 200 undergraduates and 30 graduate students will received ISU nursing degrees.

The college currently offers three undergraduate programs: BSN (traditional), BSN (accelerated) and RN to BSN; as well as a master's degree-family nurse practitioner, master's degree in nursing systems administration, post-master's family nurse practitioner certificate, doctor of philosophy in nursing and doctor of nursing practice.

Here are a few key events in the school's history:

1919 – Emanuel Troyer, a Central Illinois Mennonite minister, leads an effort to establish a hospital and train nurses.

1920 – Physician George Kelso's Bloomington sanitarium is purchased for $75,000 and the Mennonite Sanitarium Training School opens with 11 students.

1922 – First graduating class, 15 graduates.

1983 – Mennonite College of Nursing established; first baccalaureate class enrolled.

1995 – Master of Science in Nursing program approved.

1999 – Mennonite College of Nursing becomes part of ISU.

2007 – Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program added for people who have already completed a non-nursing bachelor's degree.

2008 – Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Nursing program approved.

2013 – Online Doctor of Nursing Practice program approved.

2017 - College receives 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The college has been accredited by CCNE since 2002.

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Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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