September

Nursing students, from left, Lillie Jones, Ismaeel Baig and Kierra Brown chat as they leave the School of Nursing at UMMC.
Nursing students, from left, Lillie Jones, Ismaeel Baig and Kierra Brown chat as they leave the School of Nursing at UMMC.
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School of Nursing graduate Patricia Dyre Kimble gives back by planning $1M gift

Published on Monday, September 27, 2021

By: Annie Oeth, aoeth@umc.edu

Lessons at the School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center were nothing short of life-changing for Patricia Dyre Kimble.

She’s now making sure that excellence in nursing education at UMMC continues by planning a $1 million gift to her alma mater. The gift establishes the Patricia Dyre Kimble Endowed Chair in Nursing and will supplement the nursing professor who will be chosen to hold the chair. It is the second chair in the School of Nursing, joining the Harriet G. Williamson Chair of Population Health Nursing.

Patricia Dyre Kimble, a 1965 graduate, has planned a $1 million gift to the School of Nursing.
Patricia Dyre Kimble, a 1965 graduate, has planned a $1 million gift to the School of Nursing.

“Had it not been for UMMC, my life would not have been what it could be,” said the 1965 graduate. “The faculty there gave me the confidence and training to become a nurse and to continue in my career by earning a master’s degree in nursing and becoming a nurse practitioner.”

Kimble, who retired after more than two decades of working as a community mental health nurse practitioner with Community Psychiatric Clinic in the Seattle area, has fond memories of her days as a nursing student at UMMC.

“I was there during the years of the school’s first dean, Christine Oglevee,” Kimble said. “She was a rare individual and an excellent nurse educator. We all loved her and feared her at the same time. I still remember the sound of her heels clicking down the hallway.”

After graduation, the native Mississippian who grew up in Grenada continued her studies at the University of Washington with the goal of becoming a psychiatric nurse.

“During nursing school rotations, I was at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield,” she said. “I enjoyed talking to patients and finding out what made them tick.”

Dr. Art Dohlstrom, a psychologist at UMMC during Kimble’s time in nursing school, encouraged her to enter graduate school at the University of Washington.

“He suggested I study in Seattle because the University of Washington had a good program and the city was safe,” she said, “so on that advice, I applied and traveled across the country.”

It was there that she met the man she would marry, Rees “Skip” Kimble, who worked at Boeing at the time.

“One piece of advice from Dr. Dohlstrom, and my life’s course changed,” she said.

She and her now-late husband endowed the Patricia Dyre Kimble School of Nursing Scholarship in 2009.

“We wanted to make sure a student who gets it would have enough money to stay in school,” Kimble said at the time. “We also thought that it might be nice to be able to eat when you’re a student, and we wanted to help with living expenses.”

A portion of her recent estate gift will supplement this student scholarship fund as well as the School of Nursing Class of 1965 Fund.

During her career, Kimble was in private practice for five years and served as a consultant for Columbia Lutheran Home, a skilled nursing facility for short-term transitional care, rehabilitation and long-term elder care.

After retirement, Kimble has worked as a volunteer with a local wildlife rehabilitation center and as a ticket office volunteer for her community theatre.  She also plans and leads walks for the Friday Walking Group on San Juan Island in northwest Washington State, where she retired, and enjoys gardening and reading.

Julie Sanford
Sanford

Dr. Julie Sanford, dean of the School of Nursing at UMMC, expressed her gratitude.

“The School of Nursing is grateful to Patricia Dyre Kimble for her generosity and her devotion to her alma mater,” said Sanford. “That this gift is from a graduate who has dedicated her career to caring for others and their mental health makes it even more meaningful.”