The M. Louise Fitzpatrick Award for Transformative Leadership is named in memory of M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing, who led Villanova University’s College of Nursing from 1978 until her death in 2017. During those nearly 40 years, she developed the College into a premier nursing program, recognized repeatedly by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. She is remembered as one of the most vibrant, transformative leaders in the history of Villanova University.
The award was first given during the 29th Annual Mass and Dedication Ceremony held April 7, 2018. The inaugural recipient was Mary D. Naylor '71 BSN, PhD, RN, FAAN.
The award is to be conferred upon a person whose transformative leadership, through high standards of excellence, ignites or has ignited dramatic change stemming from extraordinary vision, creativity and inspiration, with far-reaching impact leading to the improvement of nursing, health or health care. Preference is given to those with global impact, a spirit of intellectual inquiry consistent with Villanova University's Augustinian values, or those whose endeavors and leadership benefit vulnerable or underserved populations.