On Oct. 13, 2023, Dr. Frances Stevralia Crosby, '67, retired from Niagara University where, for decades, her dedicated, persistent, and visionary leadership has been integral to nursing at Niagara. But her legacy at her alma mater will live on, as the nursing simulation lab she spearheaded was named in her honor.
The Dr. Frances Stevralia Crosby, '67, Nursing and Health Sciences Innovation Center, located on the second floor of Dunleavy Hall, is a testament to her steadfast commitment to educate future generations of Niagara University nurses and improve the quality of healthcare in Western New York and beyond.
“In large part because of her desire to act and to persuade others to do the same, the nursing program of today is producing high-quality and highly sought after graduates that work around the globe to serve in the spirit of our Vincentian heritage of helping the poor and marginalized,” said Dr. Christine Verni, dean of the College of Nursing. “The college continues to benefit from her efforts, and its vision for the future—with innovation, inclusion, and a focus on wellness as top priorities—is all but guaranteed because she has never wavered in her commitment to our programs.”
During her tenure at Niagara University, Dr. Crosby facilitated the establishment of a Family Nurse Practitioner graduate program and the reopening of the nursing program after the College of Nursing closed. She also created the Nurse Leadership Academy to offer leadership development programs to area nurses, and led the campaign for the nursing simulation lab, which was originally dedicated during Alumni Weekend in 2015. She served as chair of the nursing department and later, as director of the School of Nursing. In recent years, she advocated for the nursing program to be designated as a college.
A prolific writer and popular speaker, whose research interests include education, quality management, and community health, Dr. Crosby has received numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in healthcare. She was named a Harvard Macy Scholar for Leadership in Health Professional Education, a Western New York Nurse of Distinction, an American Nurse Foundation Scholar, and a Great Lakes Scholar. She was also honored with the Outstanding Professional Nurse Award by the Gamma Theta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, and with an award for Professional Achievement in Health Education by the Health Sciences Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
In 2013, the Frances Stevralia Crosby, '67, RN, MSN, Ed.D., Nursing Scholarship was established by her friends and colleagues to aid Niagara nursing students with financial need, and the university has honored her with its Alumna of the Year Award, its Nursing Alumni Council Leadership Award, its Caritas Medal, and its Lifetime Achievement Award. At her retirement, she was also named Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Crosby holds a B.S. in nursing from Niagara University, an M.S. in child psychiatric nursing from Boston University, and a doctorate in education from the University at Buffalo.