Published on September 16, 2009 by William Nunnelley 

Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will present its first Angel Award to the late Thomas Edgar “Tom” Jernigan during its inaugural Courage to Care Awards Gala Friday, Sept. 18.

The special award cites Jernigan’s generous gifts to fund scholarships over the years that made him one of the largest contributors in history to the nursing school.  The award notes that “he truly was an angel of mercy in the fullest sense to Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing.”

Jernigan was a native of Monroe County, Alabama, but moved to Birmingham after service in World War II and spent the remainder of his life there.  He was president of Marathon Corporation, a real estate company, and a noted Birmingham business leader at the time of his death in 2008.

“The lessons he learned growing up in humble circumstances stayed with him throughout his life and led him to use his resources to do good things for others,” noted the award.

The Courage to Care Awards Gala recognizes and honors alumni of Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and its forerunner, Birmingham Baptist Hospital, who exemplify the “courage to care” through their past or current nursing practice.  The quote is from the late Ida V. Moffett, who noted, “It takes courage to care, to open the heart and act with sympathy and compassion.”

Nursing Dean Nena F. Sanders will also recognize 14 current and past nurses with Courage to Care Awards.

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.