Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

W. Richard Fossey


This qualitative research study investigated the history of Our Lady of the Lake College from 1923 through 2000. It endeavored to determine the influence of the times, the events, the people, and the traditions that have contributed to its development and progress in the seventy-seven years that have passed since it was established. The study also sought to document the important institutional events that transpired during this time period and establish a continuity of the College's progress through the years from a hospital-based diploma program in nursing to a free standing degree granting institution. In addition to the evolutionary development of the institution, the study also investigated socialization processes inherent in the educational experience that prepared the graduate for the role of a professional nurse, as those issues evolved across the seventy-seven year history of the institution. Socialization into the role of nurse, as a dimension of professional education, reflected changes in both nursing and society. The qualitative methodology of the study included the review of institutional documents, archival and visual materials, and semi-structured tape-recorded interviews of graduates, administrators and faculty as well as four non-taped interviews. The data obtained from the document reviews and the transcribed interviews were then categorized according to themes, analyzed, and then used to comprise the data base for the study, thus contributing to a "thick description" of issues identified in the study. The historical narrative of Our Lady of the Lake College is presented within the context of nursing, nursing education, and higher education in the United States. An analytical discussion of the institutional experience and students' experiences within the larger context of the evolutionary history of nursing and higher education is presented in a separate chapter. Findings related to women's issues of oppression are also discussed. Furthermore, this chapter includes a discussion of the possible meaning and implications of the study.