The Nelson Order was established in 2004 by the Office of Academic Affairs. The purpose of the Nelson Order is to honor our institution's best teachers, as selected by students, by their peers and recommended by the deans of their respective schools. All six schools are given the opportunity to nominate the best of the best to be recognized as part of the Norman C. Nelson Order on an annual basis.
The namesake of the organization is, of course, Dr. Norman Crooks Nelson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine from 1973-94. In his first faculty appointment at Louisiana State University, he was named “Most Inspirational Teacher” in 1966 and 1968, “Best Clinical Teacher” in each year from 1967 through 1971, inclusive, and outstanding teacher of the senior class in 1970.
By the time he came to the UMMC faculty in 1973, he had firmly established his reputation as a master teacher. As Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, he used his native teaching skills and those he developed to set a standard to which many of our faculty have aspired.
The members of the Nelson Order are recognized at the annual UMMC commencement, at which they are expected to wear the Nelson Order purple sash that signifies their place as a member of the Order.
Additionally, faculty recipients of the Norman C. Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence are eligible for the Regions Bank TEACH Prize. Initiated in 2013, the Regions Bank TEACH (Toward Educational Advancement in Care and Health) Prize celebrates the highest qualities of our teaching faculty. The winner receives a cash award of $10,000 and recognition at the luncheon honoring Nelson Order inductees.