Jack C. Massey Leadership Award

This Award was established in 1986 by Mr. Jack C. Massey and Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee. The Award is given every other year and honors individuals whose leadership and accomplishments have enriched the quality of life for citizens of our nation.

2017 Awardee: 

Dean Emerita Dr. Colleen Conway Welch

Dr. Conway-Welch received the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Georgetown University School of Nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing degree in Parent-child Nursing from Catholic University of America and the PhD from New York University. She became a certified nurse midwife at Catholic Maternity Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Before coming to Vanderbilt, she was professor of nursing, assistant clinical professor of medicine and director of the nurse-midwifery graduate program at the University of Colorado. Upon her arrival at the School, she proposed new directions including implementation of many of the 1982 self-study recommendations.


She instituted a new organizational structure. She requested that the School report to the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs rather than to the Provost of the University as she believed this arrangement would enhance opportunities for joint programs and clinical training. Three new associate dean positions were established, which related directly to the tripartite mission of research, teaching and clinical practice. In 1999, a fourth associate dean, in Informatics, was added.

Under her guidance and direction, the School has reached out to the community in profound ways, such as communitybased clinics and practices. In addition to making a difference in Middle Tennessee, she has led the way for national impact via a variety of initiatives, such as the International Nursing Coalition for Mass Casualty Education and the National Coalition for Emergency Preparedness. She was appointed by President Reagan to his Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic in 1988 and by Speaker Newt Gingrich to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare in 1998. In 1997, she was named to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

She has spear-headed many projects and led the School into an extraordinary world of nursing in the 21st Century.


Presented By:

Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Patron Sponsors

Ingram Industries
Curb Records

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bumstead

Dinner Sponsors

Pinnacle Bank
National Health Investors
Mr. L.H. Armistead III
Ms. Sue Atkinson
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Ayers
Mr. Dennis Bottorff
Mrs. Anita Cochran
Mr. and Mrs. William (Pete) Delay
Mrs. Annette Eskind
Mrs. Cecile Gideon and Ms. Pamela Poe
Dean Linda Norman
Dr. Paula Sandidge
Dr. Manny Sethi


Table Hosts

Mrs. Lady Bird
Mrs. Nancy Peterson Hearn

Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Lipman


Contributing Sponsors

Beaman Automotive
Otsuka Pharmaceutical

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Supporting Sponsors

Mr. Fred Dettwiller
Mr. Patrick Emery
Mr. and Mrs. Clay Harkleroad
Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Hays
Ms. Suzanne Moore
Mr. and Mrs. John Peach
Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Shack

Mr. Dan Surface and Mrs. Aileen Katcher Surface

Previous Jack C. Massey Leadership Award Recipients

Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers (1986); Leah Rose Werthan (1988); Buddy Killen (1991); Governor Ned McWherter (1993); Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. (1995); Annette Eskind (1997); Alyne Massey (1999); William O. Whetsell, Jr., M.D. (2001); William S. Cochran (2003); Orrin H. Ingram, John R. Ingram, David B. Ingram and Robin Ingram Patton (2005); Mayor Bill Purcell (2007); Amy Grant and Vince Gill (2009); Nicholas S. Zeppos (2011); Mike Curb (2013); Janet and Jim Ayers (2015); Dr. Colleen Conway Welch (2017)