July 25, 2008

Nursing school stalwart Leiserson dies at 95

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Roxy Bogigian Leiserson

Nursing school stalwart Leiserson dies at 95

Roxy Bogigian Leiserson, a former Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty member, died July 6. She was 95.

“Her nursing degree was a launching pad for a rich and full life that touched so very many people,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing.

“Through her life's works, she made a tremendous impact that will not be forgotten.”

Mrs. Leiserson was born in 1913 and grew up in Indianapolis. She became a registered nurse and moved to Nashville in 1949.

After earning her Master of Science degree from Yale in 1952, she became a professor of Psychiatric Nursing at Vanderbilt.

She helped to found the Tennessee Mental Health Association and the Knowles Senior Citizens Center, as well as the first crisis call center in Nashville. She was also active in the Tennessee Nurses Association. Yale named her its Distinguished Alumna in 1987.

She married Avery Leiserson, professor of Political Science Emeritus at Vanderbilt, in 1971. They both retired in 1973.

After her husband died in 2004, Mrs. Leiserson continued their shared interest in Democratic party political activity.

She had been a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church since the 1950s, served on the board, and for a term as president of the congregation.

She is survived by two brothers, Paul and Harold Bogigian; her step-children, Michael Leiserson, Nancy Welles, John Leiserson and Alan Leiserson, their spouses, and many grandchildren.