Carolinas College’s Oldest Living Alumnae to Celebrate Milestone Birthday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Press Release) — Elinor Caddell, a member of the first graduating class of the Charlotte Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1944, will turn 100-years-old on Dec. 5, 2022.

Carolinas College hosted a private birthday celebration for Caddell on Thursday, September 29.

Throughout her career, Caddell has played an integral part in the foundation of nursing education in the Charlotte area and across the state of North Carolina. She has touched the lives of many nurses and has left a lasting impression by setting standards of care that have influenced health care professionals through the years. She is known for her passion for educating health care practitioners and focusing that education on patient-centered care; care that addresses the whole individual and includes their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Caddell accepted her first job with Charlotte Memorial Hospital, where she also worked with nursing students. Realizing that nursing education was a talent and calling, she completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing education at Duke University, returning in 1948 to teach at Charlotte Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She returned to Duke University in 1960 to complete a master’s degree and to teach. In 1965, she was recruited back to Charlotte to help start the nursing program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, culminating her career in the late 1980s.

Charlotte Memorial Hospital, now Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, opened on October 7, 1940. Following many years of planning in the 1930s, community and governmental leaders determined that a new hospital was needed that would provide medical care for all residents of Mecklenburg County, consistent with the current Atrium Health “for all” mission. The roots of Carolinas College of Health Sciences date back to these early days when Charlotte Memorial Hospital provided hospital-based nursing and allied health training. Anchoring the college’s history was the Charlotte Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.