Dr. John M. Gallalee

Dr. John M. Gallalee, president of The University of Alabama from 1948 to 1953, was approached by Alabama nursing leaders in 1948 to enlist his help in arranging a study of Alabama’s nursing education needs. He requested a survey by USPHS (U.S. Public Health Service) in order to “determine the needs and to evaluate the existing facilities for a school of nursing of The University of Alabama.” Consulting with the Joint Committee of the Alabama State Nurses’ Association and the Alabama League of Nursing Education, Dr. Gallalee appointed a highly respected public advisory committee and a “working committee” of Alabama nursing leaders to work with federal consultant Margaret Carrington. Dr. Gallalee sought additional advice about establishing a new school of nursing from Russell Sage Foundation consultant Dr. Margaret Bridgeman. He then used the two reports from Margaret Carrington and Dr. Margaret Bridgeman as guidance from which to launch his new nursing school. Dr. Gallalee was very supportive of this new nursing school and worked diligently with Alabama nurses in getting it established. After recruiting Florence Hixson as dean of the new school, President Gallalee continued to support her efforts. Even when some University leaders were telling him that baccalaureate nursing education was not in step with Alabama’s nursing education needs, President Gallalee continued as an advocate for the nursing school. When Dr. Gallalee announced his retirement in 1953, Dean Hixson wrote in her letter to him the School of Nursing’s “progress has been rapid in these initial years of its existence and is attributable to the wholehearted cooperation of the University and its president.”