The Fogelman College of Business in Economics (FCBE), in partnership with the Loewenberg
School of Nursing (LSON), was honored to host the American Academy of Nursing “Living
Legend” former Brigadier General and U.S. Army Nurse, Dr. Clara L. Adams-Ender (“General
Clara”) at the University of Memphis in late October. One of the Army Medical Corps
most honored Leaders, General Clara’s visit, included two larger-group discussions
regarding leadership in nursing and healthcare, several smaller meetings with faculty,
leaders, alumni and students from both nursing and business schools, and a visit to
the VA Hospital to meet with healthcare professionals and veterans.
The eldest child of a sharecropper, General Clara became the first nurse and woman
in Army history to be awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge. She served as Assistant
Chief and later Chief of the Department of Nursing at the 97th General Hospital in
Frankfurt, Germany, where she was also promoted to Colonel. General Clara was the
first black nurse corps graduate of the U.S. Army War College in 1982. She later became
the first African American to serve as Vice President & Chief of the Department of
Nursing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
In 1987 General Clara was promoted to Brigadier General and named Chief of the Army
Nurse Corps and Chief of Army Medical Personnel. Following that assignment, in 1991
General Clara was named Commanding General at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and Deputy Commanding
General of the Military District of Washington, becoming the first army nurse and
African American woman ever to command a major army base. Following retirement from
the army in 1993, this extraordinary leader became an author, educator, consultant,
foundation founder and an elected member of the renowned Council on Foreign Relations.
General Clara is a best-selling author, an international adviser and member of the
Council on Foreign Relations, Virginia Board of Medical Review. She advocates vigorously
for nurses, women in medicine, veterans and ethnic minorities through her foundation,
CAPE Inc. In August 2013, the American Academy of Nursing named General Clara as
one of its four newest Living Legends, one of the nursing profession's most extraordinary
and important national honors.
From left to right: Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, Dean Rajiv Grover, General Clara Adams-Ender,
Annette Webb, Darrell Poole, Dr. Tom Miller