Jefferson College of Health Sciences graduates last class before merger

JCHS will become Radford University Carilion this summer

ROANOKE, Va. – It's the end of an era for the Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

The college held its last graduation day before the Jefferson College name is retired for good. JCHS will be fully absorbed into Radford University and become Radford University Carilion this summer.

More than 250 JCHS graduates walked the stage at the Berglund Center on Friday. Dr. Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion Clinic's CEO, served as commencement speaker for Jefferson College's final class.

Agee said she's hopeful for the school's new chapter as Radford University Carilion but noted it is bittersweet to see the Jefferson College legacy end.

"We're really excited about it, but I'm honest in saying there's still that moment in saying goodbye to something that we have watched grow," said Agee.

Jefferson College graduated its first class of six nurses in 1917, when it was known as the Jefferson School of Nursing. It became Virginia's first hospital-based college in 1982, when it began granting two-year degrees in nursing as the Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley College of Health Sciences.

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