2009 Honoree Suzanne Rowe Van Ort
Class of 1958
Suzanne accepting her award from Emily Kittle
Suzanne Rowe Van Ort, Ph.D. (CHS
Class of '58) was selected the 2009 Alumna of the Year by the CHS
Foundation for her excellence in education. Suzanne received her
B.S. in nursing from the U of A in 1962 and her M.S. from UCLA.
"Suzy" considers herself an educator and in 1977 she earned the first
Ph.D. in Higher Education from the UA College of Education. She served
as dean of the nursing school at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
and then returned to the U of A and was associated with the College of
Education. During her tenure at the U of A, Suzanne received over
$1 million in research and training grants. Suzanne’s teaching awards
and honors are numerous. She was elected a Fellow of the American
Academy of Nursing and the Royal Society of Health (Great Britain). She
was honored as the 2004 Alumna of the Year (UA College of Nursing) and
she received the 75^th Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement in
Education (UA College of Education) as well as the YWCA “Women on the
Move” award (Tucson). Suzanne was the U.S. Representative at the
Nightingale Commemoration in England and she received the Award for
Excellence in Nursing Education from Sigma Theta Tau International. She
has written numerous peer-reviewed articles for medical and nursing
journals as well as writing chapters for books. She focused on nursing administration and curriculum. In
1994 she accepted the deanship of the UA College of Nursing. Upon her
retirement in 2002, she was honored when the Nursing Council created two
"Suzanne Van Ort Peer Awards," one for "Graduate Teaching" and the other
for "Undergraduate Teaching." Suzanne felt that the years at Catalina
and its teachers had an effect which motivated her to think globally.
Suzanne was one of the founders
of the CHS Foundation and she served as its first vice-president.
Photo courtesy of Fran Knowles
2007 Honoree Dr. Eugene Seymour
Class of 1958
The Catalina High School Foundation has presented its first
outstanding alumnus award to Dr. Eugene Seymour, a physician and
entrepreneur who is leading an effort to create anti-viral drugs against
a wide range of viral diseases.
Gene was selected in 2007 to receive the award after he was nominated
by Sandy Tanner Elers('58). He received the Alumnus of the Year Award on
January 18, 2008, at a gathering in his honor from the Foundation
President Emily Kittle Morrison ('60). He has agreed to speak to
Catalina students at an assembly in the near future.
Gene is the CEO of NanoViricides, a biopharma-ceutical research
company based in New Haven, Conn. The company is seeking to develop
drugs to treat such human diseases as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitus B and C,
Herpes, Influenza, Rabies, Asian Bird Flu, and dengue fever, which
affects 100 million people yearly. "The key to the system is a broad
spectrum of nanoviricide which should work against 90 percent of all
viruses with minor modifications," he said.
Gene graduated from Catalina in 1958 and from the University of
Arizona. He was trained at Baylor Medical College and Columbia
University College of Physicians. He did post doctoral training at UCLA
and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was on the medical
faculties of UCLA and USC. During the Vietnam War he was a major in the
In the 1980s he created an AIDS testing lab to serve the large Hispanic
population of Los Angeles. Later he founded a company that developed a
rapid HIV blood test and he has conducted HIV research worldwide. He
consults for the United Nations.
Gene admits he was hardly a good student at CHS. He says he owes his
success to some U of A professors who took an interest in him and
inspired him to achieve. Character and persistence count. CHS students
can benefit from Gene's example.
By Ford Burkhart ('59)
Emily Kittle Morrison ('60) hosts reception at her home and presents the
award to Dr. Seymour.
Gene receives congratulations from Pam Morris Samuels ('59) and Amanda
McCoy Place ("60).