M. Louise Fitzpatrick Award for Transformative Leadership

Dean M. Louise Fitzpatrick

The M. Louise Fitzpatrick Award for Transformative Leadership is named in memory of M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing, who led Villanova University’s College of Nursing from 1978 until her death in 2017. During those nearly 40 years, she developed the College into a premier nursing program, recognized repeatedly by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. She is remembered as one of the most vibrant, transformative leaders in the history of Villanova University.

crystal cut bowl

The award was first given during the 29th Annual Mass and Dedication Ceremony held April 7, 2018. The inaugural recipient was Mary D. Naylor '71 BSN, PhD, RN, FAAN.

Award Criteria

The award is to be conferred upon a  person whose transformative leadership, through high standards of excellence, ignites or has ignited dramatic change stemming from extraordinary vision, creativity and inspiration, with far-reaching  impact leading to the improvement of nursing, health or health care. Preference is given to those with global impact, a spirit of intellectual inquiry consistent with Villanova University's Augustinian values, or those whose endeavors and leadership benefit vulnerable or underserved populations. 

Award Eligibility

The award may be given to a nurse or non-nurse who is engaged in ethical, high-level practice or initiatives related to improving nursing, health or health care at a national or global level, and who espouses the Augustinian values of Veritas, Unitas and Caritas. The recipient does not need to be a Villanova alumna/us.

Previous Recipients


Mary Duffin Naylor '71 BSN, PhD, RN, FAAN

Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology, Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; Trustee, Villanova University

Dr. Naylor is the architect of the Transitional Care Model (TCM), an advanced practice nurse-coordinated, team-based innovation targeting high risk older adults that is recognized as a top evidence-based approach with a positive impact on the health and well-being of chronically ill older adults across the U.S., while assuring wiser use of societal resources. It is also being leveraged globally.