Two long-time professors retired this past school year after teaching at Union College well over half a century combined. Both Valeree Krueger and Charlotte Schober taught in the nursing program for more than 30 years.
“It’s difficult to articulate the significance of the time and energy Charlotte and Valeree have dedicated to the nursing program over the past 30-plus years,” said Nicole Orian, chair of the Division of Nursing and their former student. “They spent their careers in nursing education at Union College. Their expertise in nursing education was instrumental in developing the next generation of nurses and nursing educators.”
During their time at Union, they have seen the nursing program not only double in size, but develop into one of the top programs in Nebraska and in the Adventist school system—featuring pass rates consistently well above the national average.
Schober earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from Walla Walla College (now University) in Washington before completing a master’s in nursing with an emphasis in psychiatric nursing and community health nursing from Nebraska Medical Center. Before coming to Union in 1984, she worked in home health and community health nursing. “My main goal was to inspire my students and teach them the value and usefulness of what they are learning so they can leave Union completely prepared for their futures,” Schober said of her time as a teacher.
Krueger launched her nursing career her at Union as the student health nurse after graduating in 1977. After earning a master’s degree at Vanderbilt University in 1983, she returned to Union to join the nursing faculty, where she received the Zapara Award for Teaching Excellence in 1991.
In retirement, Krueger plans to catch up on gardening and reading, and spend time with her granddaughter who was born in July 2014. “I have loved working at Union,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for better students or coworkers.”
The current nursing faculty, many of whom took classes from Krueger and Schober during their nursing education, see both women as vital to the success of the nursing program. “They have been the link between where we had been and where we are going,” said Orian. “They invested themselves emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually because they cared about the success of the program and the quality of graduates.”