UC Davis possesses a broad and strong expertise in health that benefits Californians and the world. Our graduates in both human medicine and veterinary medicine, as well as our graduates in the biological sciences and public health, are finding ways to prevent and treat disease, to deliver health care more effectively, to be more innovative and to bring health and well-being to people and places that right now are underserved.
Our alumni are making a difference in peoples' lives every day. And, soon, nurses also will be among those UC Davis graduates who are health-care leaders for California and for the nation.
My mother was a nurse. I know first-hand that nurses work hard and are incredibly dedicated to their profession. They are often the ones who spend the most time with us as patients. Our lives, in so many ways, depend on them.
I also know, through my own mother, that nurses want to help improve the lives of the people they support and serve. They are worthy leaders. And the evolution of the profession reflects that role as they have been earning increasing levels of responsibility in our health-care system.
Nursing education is a perfect fit with the traditions of UC Davis. When our university was founded 100 years ago as a land-grant institution, we were charged with meeting the most critical needs of society. As part of that public service mission, we have always considered it our responsibility to invest in the health of our community, our state and our nation.
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis plays an integral role in realizing our goal of improving health. The School of Nursing will follow the tradition of other UC Davis schools and colleges with its focus on interdisciplinary, collaborative education.
I am so appreciative that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has provided UC Davis with an unprecedented commitment that allows us to rapidly launch this school. It is a unique opportunity to transform nursing education to meet the changing needs of our society and to develop nurse leaders, educators and researchers who are well prepared and well skilled to meet those needs. I look forward to the launch of our first classes in 2010.