Gamma Class

On Saturday, May 8, Concordia University Ann Arbor Ronald and Marvel Jones School of Nursing celebrated the Pinning Ceremony for the Gamma Class, the sixth cohort to graduate from CUAA's bachelor of science in nursing program.

The Gamma Class pinning ceremony was celebrated in the Earhart Manor Tent on the campus of Concordia University Ann Arbor. Nursing graduates sat in pods with their families around the outdoor tables.

In addition to the pinning ceremony, the Gamma class will celebrate the completion of their degree with an in-person commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 9 at either 1 p.m. ET or 4 p.m. ET.

Each semester, Concordia’s nursing faculty and staff nominate students from the graduating cohort who best represent the core values of the nursing program: service, excellence, compassion, and integrity. An additional award, the Nightingale Award, was created as a tribute to Florence Nightingale who embodied nursing as her life’s vocation. The recipient of this award exemplifies that same character and calling.

View all of the Gamma class award recipients.

Gamma ClassThe Nightingale Award: Sophia Bell (’21)

Presented by Cindy Fenske

For the sick it is important to have the best. -Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale is an iconic figure who is responsible for the philosophy and underpinnings of modern day nursing. Prior to her, nursing was looked down upon as unimportant and as a low status job. Through her efforts, nursing was reborn into the trusted profession we know today. The name of Florence Nightingale is often associated with integrity, nursing excellence, compassion, service, our CUAA cornerstone value. Florence Nightingale viewed nursing as her calling from God. She gave her life and passion to the care of others, no matter what the conditions. It is in her name, that we give this award to a graduate, who displays these same qualities.

The award this year goes to a graduate who demonstrated a high level of accomplishment and embodied all of the CUAA cornerstone values.  This person demonstrated impeccable integrity, as seen by their honesty, reliability, and strong work ethic.  Her work was always done on time and with excellence.  We could count on her to not only be well prepared, but also ready and willing to fully engage in whatever learning situation or simulation we devised. She demonstrated great compassion to her patients, fellow students and even to her simulated mannequin patients.  She showed us her servant’s heart, always ready to help with a smile.  She was a team player who never complained, but instead helped whenever and wherever she was needed.  One of her clinical instructors commented, “From day one she has been excellent! She has looked for learning opportunities, advocates for her own education and even went above and beyond working extra shifts during her immersion to maximize her time and knowledge gained on the unit.  She is more than deserving of this award.  So proud of her!”

She was a quiet leader, providing her classmates with much encouragement, support, and compassion.

The nursing team felt strongly that this person clearly represented the ideals that Florence Nightingale held so dear. This graduate embodies what it is to be a Concordia nurse.

I proudly give this award to Sophia Bell.

Previous Nightingale Awardees:

Alexandra Ferreira (Gamma class, Fall 2020)

Lauren Baranski (Omega class, Spring 2020)

Hattie Thomas (Delta class, Fall 2019)

Caitlyn Freshour (Beta class, Spring 2019)

Samantha Southwell (Alpha class, Fall 2018)

Learn more about Concordia University Ann Arbor’s Ronald and Marvel Jones School of Nursing.

— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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