Nursing scholarship honors late professor’s passion for serving rural and underserved communities

Beth Khan
June 07, 2019
Jabari Spruill Jr., Jabari Spruill, Gayenell Magwood, and Denise Spruill
Jabari Spruill Jr., Jabari Spruill, Gayenell Magwood, and Denise Spruill

On a Friday afternoon in March, more than 60 friends, colleagues, and family members gathered at the College of Nursing to honor and remember the late Ida J. Spruill, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Spruill, an associate professor emerita when she passed away in 2016, was known for her devotion to her community and research.

Throughout her 30-year nursing career, she mentored, taught, and collaborated with hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and many faculty members, inspiring them with her passion and excitement for nursing, teaching, and research. In addition to being a leader at MUSC, she was also a nationally recognized figure for her accomplishments in nursing. In 2011, she won the Trailblazer Award from the National Black Nurses Association, and in 2013, she was honored by the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Ida and son Jabari  
Dr. Spruill with son Jabari Spruill

Spruill touched the lives of many in attendance through her research in the Sea Island community, serving in the TriCounty Black Nurses Association, teaching in the College, or practicing her faith in the Bahá’í community. Colleagues who worked alongside Spruill, including Debbie Bryant, DNP, RN, FAAN, and Gayenell Magwood, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, shared fond memories and encouraged others to give generously to the Dr. Ida Spruill Scholarship. Audience testimonials engendered both laughter and heartfelt tears. Her son, Jabari Spruill, an educational leader, also shared stories about his mother. A video, titled Remembering Ida, played at the reception and helped memorialize Spruill’s incredible legacy and enduring spirit.

The evening served as a tribute to Spruill, and those in attendance collectively contributed more than $5,000 to the Dr. Ida Spruill Scholarship, bringing the total raised to $16,000. The College’s goal is to reach a minimum of $50,000 to ensure that the Dr. Ida Spruill Scholarship will become a permanently endowed fund supporting minority nursing students with a focus on underserved communities.

About the Author

Beth Khan

Keywords: Summer 2019