Nursing Bestows 2005 Alumni Awards


ATLANTA – As part of its recent annual alumni day, Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing announced the recipients of its 2005 alumni awards. The College recognized distinguished alumni who have contributed in the areas of clinical nursing practice, community health service, entrepreneurism, mentoring, health care administration, leadership in health policy/ethics/law, and nursing education.

The Edna Earle Teal Award, a recognition of an alumna’s service to God and humanity through nursing, was presented to 1959 graduate Patricia Fortenberry Maddox.  Maddox spent her nursing career working in emergency room, surgical, pediatric, intensive care, cardiac care and home health settings.

After spending years helping refugees in her hometown of Clarkston, Ga. find food and employment, she urged her church to form a ministry for this purpose.  Today, as a minister with the Friends of Refugees organization, Maddox facilitates after-school tutoring for children and ESOL classes for their parents.  She has been described as a “missionary” to the more than 40 nationalities speaking 52 languages in the area.  Turner Broadcasting System has previously honored Maddox with the 2004 Pathfinder Award.

Sherron Castellaw Kurtz of Douglasville, Ga., a 1969 graduate, received the Distinguished Alumna Award. This award is presented annually to recognize a graduate for outstanding achievement and distinction in nursing practice, humanitarian contributions and support of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. 

Kurtz is the director of surgical services at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga., where she is responsible for 250 staff members and oversees all aspects of pre-op assessment and teaching. 

With more than 30 years of professional experience, Kurtz is considered an expert in perioperative nursing and has been recognized nationally with two awards – Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing and Award for Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Nursing Management.

In addition to these two prestigious awards, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing also presented its “Hall of Honor” awards. These included recognitions in the following categories:

Clinical Nursing Practice

Ann Patterson Luther, ’70, Nashville, Tenn.

Debbie Dunning Liipfert, ’69, Marshallville, Ga.

Mescal Ann Hunt, ’78, Lithonia, Ga.

Linda Leigh Faulkner, ’83, Jackson, Ga.

Community Health Service

Diane Carnes, ’75, Rock Hill, S.C.


Anne Porter McCoun, ’79, Atlanta, Ga.

Betty Van Gerpen, ’60, Atlanta, Ga.

Excellence in Mentoring

Kerry H. Gough, Augusta, Ga.

Norman R. Harbaugh, Stone Mountain, Ga.

Health Care Administration

Tarey McHargue Ray, ’72, Marietta, Ga.

Carolyn Rich, ’64, Atlanta, Ga.

Leadership in Health Policy/Ethics/Law

Lorine M. Spencer, ’74, Tucker, Ga.

Nursing Education

Lou Futrell Gramling, ’69, Augusta, Ga.

About Georgia Baptist College of Nursing:

The founding of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University in 1902 was born out of a vision to establish a Baptist institution for the training of “Christian nurses” to “heal the needy sick.” More than 100 years later, some 6,000 men and women have graduated from the College of Nursing, now part of one of the largest Baptist universities in the world since its 2001 merger with Mercer. The College requires students to undergo a unique three-year clinical sequence and offers clinical experiences in more than 40 of the Atlanta area’s most recognized healthcare agencies.