Roy C. Beazley and Dr. Mary Lohr

Roy C. Beazley (1902–1985)

Roy C. Beazley directed nursing education in various positions at the University of Virginia from 1946 until 1969, and was the first woman at the university to be named professor emerita. Born in Orange County and named for her uncle, Beazley began her career as a teacher but after suffering a serious illness she became interested in nursing. She attended the hospital nursing school at the University of Virginia and, with the exception of a degree earned at Columbia University in 1953, remained in Charlottesville for the rest of her career. She directed the evolution of the nursing education program into the School of Nursing and served as president of the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses from 1959 to 1961. She retired from teaching in 1969 and died in 1985. Later that year she was posthumously awarded the University of Virginia's Distinguished Nursing Alumnae Award. MORE...

 

Roy Carpenter Beazley was born on November 23, 1902, at Mountview in Orange County, the third of five children, all daughters, of Edward Stark Beazley and Lora Cornelia Carpenter Beazley. Her name was the cause of frequent misidentifications and much humor throughout her life. Her mother had promised after the birth of two daughters to name the third child for her brother regardless of its sex, and she kept her promise.

Beazley was educated in the Orange County public schools and at the State Normal School for Women at Fredericksburg. While she was a student in Fredericksburg in 1918, she became critically ill and spent several months in the college infirmary. Her devotion to one of the nurses who attended her contributed to her eventual decision to give up teaching and become a nurse. Beazley began her teaching career in the public schools of Orange County in 1920 and moved by 1923 to Albemarle County, where she taught until 1927. In September 1927 she and her younger sister Edith Beazley enrolled in the University of Virginia Hospital School of Nursing. Roy Beazley graduated in September 1930 and planned to enter public health nursing, but the superintendent of nurses at the hospital, Josephine McLeod, persuaded her to become head nurse of one of the hospital's medical and surgical units.

Beazley continued her education and received a BS in nursing education from the University of Virginia in 1941. She then became an instructor in the Hospital School of Nursing, but her desire to remain close to patients drew her back into the hospital as assistant director of nursing in 1944. After returning to school yet again, in 1953 she received a BMA in Administration in Schools of Nursing from Teachers College, Columbia University. Beazley was appointed director of the University of Virginia Hospital School of Nursing and director of nursing services in 1946 and worked for twenty-three years to develop nursing services at the growing medical center. She played a major role in the evolution of the nursing education program at the University of Virginia, which reached its maturity in September 1956 when it became the University of Virginia School of Nursing.

In 1951 the governor appointed Beazley to the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses. She served for ten years and was president of the board from 1959 until 1961. An active participant in a number of professional organizations, she held several offices in the Virginia State Nurses Association, presided over numerous committees, and was vice president in 1956. Beazley also had a strong interest in the development of education for licensed practical nurses in Virginia. In 1960 she received the Virginia State Nurses Association's prestigious Nancy Vance Award in recognition of long and distinguished service to the profession.

Beazley retired in 1969 and was the first woman at the University of Virginia to be named professor emerita. Before and after retirement she lived with two of her sisters in Charlottesville. Beazley taught an adult Sunday school class at the First Baptist Church in Charlottesville until shortly before her death. Her hobbies were needlework and tending her large rose garden. Beazley died of heart failure at the University of Virginia Hospital on September 1, 1985, and was buried in Monticello Memory Gardens in Charlottesville. That November the School of Nursing Alumnae Association voted her the Distinguished Nursing Alumnae Award posthumously.

Time Line

  • November 23, 1902 - Roy C. Beazley is born at Mountview, in Orange County.
  • 1918 - Roy C. Beazley spends months critically ill while a student in Fredericksburg. The experience eventually leads her to a career in nursing.
  • 1920–1923 - Roy C. Beazley teaches in the public schools of Orange County.
  • 1923–1927 - Roy C. Beazley teaches in the public schools of Albemarle County.
  • September 1927 - Roy C. Beazley and her younger sister Edith Beazley enroll in the University of Virginia Hospital School of Nursing.
  • September 1930 - Roy C. Beazley graduates from the University of Virginia Hospital School of Nursing.
  • 1941 - Roy C. Beazley receives a BS in nursing education from the University of Virginia.
  • 1944 - Roy C. Beazley becomes assistant director of nursing at the University of Virginia Hospital.
  • 1946 - Roy C. Beazley becomes director of the University of Virginia Hospital School of Nursing and director of nursing service.
  • 1951–1961 - Roy C. Beazley serves the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses.
  • 1952–1953 - Roy C. Beazley serves are director of the Department of Nursing Education at the University of Virginia.
  • 1952–1969 - Roy C. Beazley serves as the director of Nursing Services at the University of Virginia.
  • 1953 - Roy C. Beazley receives a BMA in Administration in Schools of Nursing from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • 1956 - The nursing education program at the University of Virginia becomes the School of Nursing.
  • 1959–1961 - Roy C. Beazley serves as president of the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses.
  • 1960 - Roy C. Beazley receives the Virginia State Nurses Association's prestigious Nancy Vance Award.
  • 1969 - Roy C. Beazley retires from the University of Virginia and becomes the first woman at the university to be named professor emerita.
  • September 1, 1985 - Roy C. Beazley dies at the University of Virginia Hospital.
  • November 1985 - Roy C. Beazley is posthumously awarded the University of Virginia's Distinguished Nursing Alumnae Award.

References

Further Reading
Bacon, Evelyn Crary. "Carpenter, Roy Beazley." In the Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Vol. 1, edited by John T. Kneebone, et al., 426–427. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1998.
Cite This Entry
  • APA Citation:

    Bacon, E. C., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Roy C. Beazley (1902–1985). (2016, July 1). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Beazley_Roy_C_1902-1985.

  • MLA Citation:

    Bacon, Evelyn Crary and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Roy C. Beazley (1902–1985)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1 Jul. 2016. Web. READ_DATE.

First published: March 8, 2016 | Last modified: July 1, 2016


Contributed by Evelyn Crary Bacon and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography