The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady announced on October 4, 2016 that Our Lady of the Lake College will change its name to Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University. The announcement was made by Sr. Barbara Arceneaux, Provincial for the Sisters. Founded in 1923, Our Lady of the Lake College is the only Catholic Franciscan institution of higher education in the southeastern United States. Supporting activities for the name change will begin with today’s announcement and full implementation of the name will be complete in 2017.
Expansion of programs in recent years, including doctoral level degree programs, has prompted the College to adopt a name change to University that reflects the advanced programs being offered at the institution. In addition, the change to Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University honors both the ministry’s founding sponsors and its Franciscan ideals and values as expressed through education and formation. Curricula in all academic disciplines emphasizes Franciscan formation, a distinct experience for graduates, especially those seeking preparation for healthcare professions.
“There are a number of reasons why we are excited to announce a new name that recognizes our institutional maturity…our university status,” states Dr. Tina Holland, President. “But I am most excited about the opportunity to declare the proud heritage entrusted to us by our Sisters, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Our new name is a clear reflection of our commitment to enhance our Franciscan identity.”
Our Lady of the Lake College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate degrees.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University will maintain its three established comprehensive schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Professions and the Our Lady of the Lake School of Nursing. Today, the University has an enrollment of 1,600 students and a full-time faculty of 76. In keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church, the University is devoted both to academic excellence and service to the community and welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.
The service learning program has become a nationally recognized cornerstone of the curriculum. During 2014-2015 academic year, students provided 61,587 hours of service locally. In early 2011, the College was named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Carnegie Engaged Campus. In addition to this prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification, the College has been named seven times to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Since 2012, the College has earned the enhanced "With Distinction,” an honor bestowed on only 120 colleges and universities in the nation and the only institution in Louisiana.
Our Lady of the Lake College was initially founded as a nursing school in conjunction with the establishment of Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in the Capitol Lake area of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Today ─ over ninety-three years later ─ the institution has grown to offer a broader range of programs while maintaining its focus on healthcare.
“Academics has been a growing component of our organization and the perpetual learning environment maximizes the positive impact we have on individuals and the greater community. With almost a century of ministry, we seek always to honor the past and give our best in the present in order to embrace the future and its many possibilities. Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University represents that total philosophy,” said Scott Wester, President and CEO Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
The new name does not change the institution’s historic relationship with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Rather, according to Holland, “By highlighting our university status and our Franciscan identity, we believe we are better positioned to serve and support the Sisters’ healthcare ministry within the many higher education alternatives.”
“An important impetus for the new name is that the first cohort of students will graduate with Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia (DNP) degrees in December of 2017,” she adds.
About Our Ministry
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is a non-profit, Catholic healthcare ministry primarily serving in Louisiana through its hospitals, network of ambulatory services and physician practices, long-term care, elderly housing, health and wellness services, and a clinically integrated network, in addition to the university. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge is the flagship and largest of the health system hospitals.
Faculty and students at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University are using research, teaching and service programs to address the many issues and opportunities facing our local aging population – including using a recently acquired grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to teach computer classes to area seniors.
The University was chosen from an applicant pool of more than 90 institutions to receive a $12,000 grant from the CIC's Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults program, supported by the AARP Foundation. The award will be used to fund service-learning Fellowships for students to serve 55 senior adult residents of the Our Lady of the Lake Senior HUD apartments. The Fellows will be instructing the senior adults on basic computer skills, the use of internet sites to access medical and other information of interest, social media to communicate with family and friends, and Microsoft Word to create narratives for the Elderly Housing newsletter and other written pieces.
"With almost 20 percent of Louisiana's population over the age of 60, it is imperative that our institution makes caring for our senior population now and in the coming years a priority," said Tina Holland, PhD, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University president. "Through programs that promote health at all ages and serve Louisiana seniors through service-learning projects, we can make a long-term positive impact on the lives of many local seniors."
In line with this focus, Lindsay B. Mullins, BSN, MSN-FNP, PhD has been promoted to the Sister Agnes Marie Fitzsimons Endowed Chair of Gerontology, where she will organize and support multidisciplinary participation in gerontological studies at the University. She will draw upon her experience as a nurse scholar and as the Family Nurse Practitioner program director to promote health and quality of life for elders in the region through continued research on building community capacity to promote healthy aging, and by positively impacting Louisiana's nursing workforce and the education surrounding elderly care.
Dr. Mullins has been with the University in various capacities since 2009, and she also serves as a family nurse practitioner for the Louisiana Sleep Foundation. She previously served as a charge nurse at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., from 2001-2005 and as a family nurse practitioner at Methodist Hospital in Dallas from 2005-2006.
She received her bachelor of science in nursing from LSU Health Sciences Center In 2001 and her master's degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2004 from Georgetown University School of Nursing. She completed her studies with a doctorate from LSU's Peabody College of Education in 2010.
Amy Hall, RN, PhD, CNE has joined the team at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University as the school’s new Dean of the School of Nursing, bringing nearly 30 years of nursing and education experience to the role. Dr. Hall is responsible for strengthening and streamlining academic policies and procedures related to the School of Nursing, and she will also oversee the assessment of teaching and learning, develop new academic programs, and promote and foster leadership development within the School of Nursing.
"As a nurse scholar, educator, administrator, and forward-thinking leader, Dr. Amy Hall is extraordinarily well-suited to be the School of Nursing’s next dean," said Tina Holland, PhD, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University President. “Her collaborative and innovative approach to nursing education and research makes her just the right fit for this leadership role as the university continues to build and sustain a culture of academic excellence.”
Dr. Hall comes from University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind., where she most recently served as the White Family Endowed Professor of Nursing since January 2011 in recognition of her contributions to nursing education. She was with the University of Evansville for over 10 years in various positions. She served as an Associate Professor and a PRN Staff Nurse at St. Francis Medical Center and its College of Nursing in Peoria, Ill., prior to her arrival in Evansville.
Dr. Hall is both internationally and nationally recognized in the field of nursing as the co-author of “Essentials for Nursing Practice” and “Fundamentals of Nursing” textbooks published by Mosby-Yearbook-Elsevier. She is very active in creating nursing clinical experiences in the U.K. as part of a study abroad program, and in China with combined emphasis on nursing and health services administration. She also incorporated advanced technology into the nursing program in her previous position by introducing students and faculty to e-books, interaction software and simulation technology in the classrooms and in the nursing labs.
Dr. Hall is a current commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. She is a member of several professional associations including Sigma Theta Tau International and the American Diabetes Association. A certified disaster nurse, Dr. Hall is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, caring for people affected by disasters and providing disaster nurse certification courses for other nurses.
Dr. Hall received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., and a master’s in nursing science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her studies back at Saint Louis University, where she received her PhD in nursing.