Monday, August 8, 2011
Hazel Johnson '59 dies, first female African American general
Hazel Johnson, '59 BSN, seen here during a light moment as she delivered an address at the Alpha Nu brunch in 2003 during the College's 50th Anniversary gala weekend.
Hazel Johnson, Class of 1959, died on August 5. Hazel was the first African-American woman to hold the rank of General in the U.S. Army and the first African American to hold the position of Chief Nurse of the Army Nurse Corps. She was profiled in the Spring 2006 issue U.S. Military Nurses: A Special Salute to Leaders in Service of Villanova Nursing on pg. 3.
Following retirement from the Army, Hazel directed the Government Affairs office at the headquarters of the American Nurses Association, and taught in the graduate nursing program at George Mason University. She also served on the Villanova University Board of Trustees. Hazel was one of the first recipients of the College of Nursing Medallion for distinguished achievement, honored by her alma mater in 1984. A native of West Chester, Pa., she earned graduate degrees from Columbia University and her doctorate from The Catholic University of America. Over the last several years she has been in failing health and has lived in Wilmington, Del. with her sister, Mrs. Gloria Smith, who survives her. A leadership award is given in her name annually at the nursing convocation for graduating students.
Funeral arrangements are pending, however burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery for this pioneering Villanovan.