On a recent trip to Saint Louis, Missouri, I had the opportunity to visit a school that until a few short years ago I had never new existed. Despite my lack of knowledge about it, the Barnes-Jewish College, Goldfarb School of Nursing is an institution that has a history that goes back further than my current institution (the University of Memphis). As is the case with many colleges, Goldfarb is the current iteration of several institutions that came together to form the current school. Goldfarb traces its history back to 1902 when it began life as the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing. Although some sources indicate it was the first, the college’s website says it merely one of the earliest schools of nursing accredited by the National League of Nursing. Regardless, the institution flourished and by the early 1990’s offered degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels in nursing and other allied health fields.
Another institution that now part of the college began life in 1955 when the Barnes Hospital School of Nursing was founded. Barnes formed its own school when Washington University shuttered its nursing program. Some time thereafter (I was unable to ascertain exactly when), the Barnes College of Nursing became a component of the University of Missouri St. Louis. The two institutions would finally merge into the current iteration in 2005. Shortly thereafter, the college ceased offering associate’s degrees. Today, Goldfarb enrolls more than 625 students at the bachelor’s (BSN), master’s (MSN), and doctoral (DNP and Ph.D.) levels.
The Goldfarb name comes from local businessman and philanthropist Alvin Goldfarb. Mr. Goldfarb was founder of the Worth Stores, a women’s clothing business centered in St. Louis. He gave a substantial donation to the school, a good portion of which was responsible for the building you see in the loan photo below, appropriately named Goldfarb Hall. You can read more about him here. The building was designed by St. Louis-based architectural firm Christner Architects. The firm has designed many university buildings and even an entire campus plan. Opening in 2007, the building includes some 105,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, offices, and auditoriums. Costs came in at $40 million (roughly $54.7 million in 2022). The building was honored with several awards including the American School and University Architectural Portfolio 2008 Outstanding Design Award, the 2007 Construction Industry Best Practice Award, Honorable Mention, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers, and the 2008 Project Achievement Award for New Construction under $30 Million, Construction Management Association of America.
University Grounds is a blog about college and university campuses, their buildings and grounds, and the people who live and work on them.
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