History of NuXi

Lake Merritt Oakland California

Selected faculty and nurse leaders from around the Bay area have been members of Sigma Theta Tau International for many years. Invitations to join the society typically came from long established Schools of Nursing that offered both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. For a few years, students from California State University Hayward (now CSUEB) who met eligibility criteria were inducted into the Alpha Eta Chapter at the University of California San Francisco.  Prior to 1990, Alpha Eta Chapter was a sponsoring chapter for many nurses, and later became a mentor for the development of a new chapter in the East Bay region. As the number of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in the East Bay increased in the 1970's, nurse leaders became aware of a need for a local Sigma Theta Tau chapter. Each of the three East Bay departments of nursing at local senior colleges, California State University East Bay (CSUEB), Holy Names University (HNU), and Samuel Merritt University (SMU) examined this issue and were inclined to move forward by the late 1980's but the significant challenges in establishing a critical mass of members and a strong economic foundation were viewed as daunting for any one department. The opportunity to create an At-Large Chapter, with a partnership among East Bay schools, was afforded when Sigma Theta Tau developed the At-Large Chapter model.


Discussion among nurse leaders at CSUEB, HNU, and SMU about the possibility of establishing an At-Large Chapter was initiated in 1988. As required by SSTI guidelines, each department of nursing initially developed its own honor society. These three societies then joined together to form the East Bay Honor Society in 1989 in preparation for the eventual At-Large Chapter model.  With Dr. Arlene Sargent, Chair of the Department of Nursing at Holy Names College  serving as the President, the East Bay Honor Society held its first induction on May 10, 1989 in the California Room at Holy Names University.  A request for official chartering as an approved chapter was submitted to Sigma Theta Tau International STTI in 1992. A site visit to determine the eligibility for membership was conducted by Dr. Patricia Lynch, then Associate Dean, University of San Francisco on behalf of STTI in that year. It was determined that the proposed At-Large Chapter was eligible for chapter status. Shortly thereafter, the President of the East Bay Honor Society (the precursor to Nu Xi), Dr. Arlene Sargent, was informed that due to a selective interpretation of the STTI Bylaws by the Executive Director of STTI and the then-STTI President, it had been determined that Samuel Merritt University was not eligible for membership because it was not a comprehensive collegiate institution. Although the By Laws did not specify that all participating colleges had to be comprehensive colleges, a conservative interpretation of the wording indicated sufficient ambiguity to initially bar SMU's membership in the At-Large Chapter. The board of directors of the East Bay Nursing Honor Society decided to move ahead with the approval for a new chapter with members to include CSUEB and HNU. The first induction ceremony was held at Holy Names University on May 8, 1993. Potential Samuel Merritt members were inducted into the Chapter but formal recognition of SMU as a part of Nu Xi was delayed. Meanwhile, efforts continued to seek eventual inclusion of SMU into the Chapter.

In the following year, a change in leadership at STTI created a new climate supportive of the application of SMU to become a part of Nu Xi Chapter. The application was approved by STTI and was formalized at the Nu Xi Induction Ceremony on May 1, 1994 when the Chapter membership was enlarged to include the third college and a new charter was issued.

The partnership of CSUEB, HNU, and SMU has been a successful venture. The Chapter qualified for Chapter Key Awards in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. Diana Dunn, former President of Nu Xi, was honored with a special award, the Meritorious Service Award, in 2001 for her long service to the chapter for which she has served as president on two occasions. Bobbie Richards received the Meritorious Service Award in 2011 for her work as President-elect, President, and Newsletter editor, as well as her service in numerous appointments to STTI committees.  Other distinguishes President's of Nu Xi at Large Chapter include Dr. Fay Bower who served a term as President of Sigma Theta Tau International.

In 2001, Nu Xi received a spirit of philanthropy award from STTI for its "April Showers" program that prepares toiletries and sundries for homeless shelters, low-income elderly, and a respite center for low income women and children. In 2005, the Chapter received the Chapter Newsletter Award for Feature Article Excellence for an article, "Hall of Fame Honors Nu Xi Members at the Biennial Convention."  Each year Nu Xi raises funds to provide six scholarship to nursing students at it supporting Universities.  Research grants are offered to members seeking support for ongoing research projects.  Support for medical missions which engage students and chapter members is also a chapter priority.  Ongoing challenges include increasing member participation, support of research and scholarship, and use of new technology to improve communication among members. Please contact the Chapter President or Committee Chair if you are interested in participating in the chapter and its important work.

Planning for the new chapter begins with Holy Names University (then Holy Names College), California State University East Bay (then California State University Hayward), & Samuel Merritt University (then Samuel Merritt College). 1988
Honor Societies formed at each participating colleg and the East Bay Nursing Honor Society is formed.. 1989
Arlene Sargent, EdD, RN, Chair- Dept of Nursing, Holy Names College, selected as President - East Bay Honor Society. 1990
First Induction as Nu Xi At Large Chapter with Holy Names University and California State University Hayward.  Nu Xi receives an official charter from STTI. May 8, 1993
Diana Dunn, MS, RN, Assistant Professor, elected first President of Nu Xi At Large Chapter for 2 year term. 1993
Second charter and  Induction as Nu Xi At Large Chapter with the addition of Samuel Merritt University May 1, 1994

Chapter Acknowledged with a Chapter Key Award. Martha Auvenshine, EdD. begins term as President.

Meritorious Service Award - to Diana Dunn for years of service to Nu Xi at Large Chapter 2001
Research Conference with Dr. Patricia Benner, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, UCSF, Keynote Speaker. 2000
STTI Awards Chapter a Spirit of Philanthropy Award For April Showers Program Biennial Convention.  Lindsay McCrae, MS, RN,  begins term as President.


Abby Heydman, PhD, RN, begins term as President.  2003
Fay Bower, DNSc, FAAN, honored with Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award. NuXi receives  Chapter Key Award & Chapter Newsletter Award.  Bobbie Richards, MA, RN begins term as President. 2005
STTI awards the NuXi three awards for Regional Excellence 2006
Nu Xi receives  a Chapter Key Award.  Fay Bower, PhD, RN begins term as President. 2007
Nu Xi recieves a Chapter Key Award 2009

Past STTI & Nu Xi President Fay Bower, DNSc, RN receives the Elizabeth Russell Belford Award for Excellence in Education. Juli Maxworthy, DNP, RN begins term as President.

Nu Xi receives a Chapter Key Award.  ​Anna Mullins, PhD, RN begins term as President. 2011

Showcase of Regional Excellence Recognition for Nu Xi programs serving vulnerable populations.


A 20th Anniversary & Hall of Fame Awards Event celebrated at Samuel Merritt School of Nursing on January 12, 2013. Nu Xi receives 6th  Chapter Key Award  & Nu Xi and Region I become co-sponsors of the UCSF Center for Nursing Research and Innovation Research Days Event.


Anna Mullins completes 3rd year as President. Nu Xi supports Region 1 as a co-sponsor of  Research Day Event.. Susan Cantrel,MS, RN,  begins term as President.

The Stubblefield-Rowland Scholarship is awarded to Guadalupe Garcia, BSN student at SMU. 2014-15
Nu Xi receives 7th Chapter Key & Regional Excellence Awards 2015
Mileva Saulo-Lewis, EdD, RN,  begins term as President 2016  

Nu Xi Co-sponsored an International Research Conference with Xi Eta Chapte (University of British Columbia) & Region I in Vancouver, Canada. July 2017

Nu Xi receive Regional Excellence Awards in 3 Categories & its 8th Chapter Key Award. November 2017

Nu Xi website on The Circle is honored at the "STTI Website of the Month".  December 2017


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