Published on April 25, 2023 by Eric Holsomback and Emily Naubert  
sizelove gurney

When trying on clothes, most people settle for a decent fit.

For Kaitlin Sizelove, however, this wasn’t the case.

“Actually, it fit like a glove,” said Sizelove, a senior nursing major in Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing.

Furthermore, Sizelove’s newest outfit turned out to be one of the school’s oldest. As part of Moffett & Sanders’ recent Centennial Celebration, Samford’s School of the Arts costume shop created a 1920s nursing uniform specifically for Sizelove to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

She, along with two other undergraduate nursing students, had uniforms created for their exact measurements to be the guests of honor at the Centennial Celebration that was held at the Lyric Theatre.

“When I originally agreed to this, I thought I was just wearing an old nursing uniform at the event as a hostess,” Sizelove said. “It slowly escalated to so much more than that!”

The eight students who represented different decades of uniforms were initially announced as they arrived on the red carpet in a vehicle from the decade of their uniform. Their name and year were called out over the speaker, as they crossed the red carpet to enter the historic theater.

Once inside and announced on stage, they were able to mingle with the many guests, some of whom wore the uniforms that had been recreated.

“It was fun talking to ladies who graduated from Birmingham Baptist Hospital’s nursing program and being asked if they could take a photo with me,” Sizelove said.

Mary Gurney manages the School of the Arts costume design shop and serves as the instructional designer for the school. Gurney teamed up with the Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing to create authentic uniforms for the centennial event. The project involved an in-depth study of nurse uniforms across different generations, and the School of Arts was tasked to bring the uniforms to life.

During the three-week project, Gurney’s students were able to learn how each uniform design had been influenced by society and industry changes. They explored every aspect of the uniform, from materials to patterns, while learning about the various functions of each component, as well as the evolution of the uniform.

Gurney found the process to be very interesting. From replicating the starched look to crafting the sleeves and collars and learning the proper way to clean the uniforms, it was a process that involved learning, growth and attention to detail.

Gurney believes various schools within Samford have a unique opportunity to achieve their full potential by working together, which is exactly what occurred when the School of Arts and Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing collaborated.

“Each school has unique skills and perspectives that would be able to complement one another to reach their high potential and ultimately achieve great things,” she said.

In other words, a perfect fit.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.