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Captain Ann "Darby" Reynolds, Nurse Corps, USN (Ret.) '61

Alumni Award of Merit

The Alumni Award of Merit is given periodically to a graduate or friend of the college who has demonstrated unusual professional competence or standing in their community and/or service to our country. This year's recipient was Captain Ann "Darby" Reynolds, retired United States Navy Nurse Corps and member of the Class of 1961.

Darby was a member of the US Navy Nurse Corps for 26 years, serving in Vietnam from March 1964 to March 1965.  On Christmas Eve in 1964 the officers' quarters where Darby resided was bombed, shattering glass throughout the building.  She and her 3 roommates immediately thought to get to the hospital to help treat victims.  However, upon leaving their hotel Darby's first instinct was to treat the injured she encountered along the way.  Once she arrived at the Naval Station Hospital Saigon the entire city was on high alert.  As Darby describes it: "the patients were coming in like an assembly line".  

While she was treating patients, a hospital corpsman noticed that Darby was bleeding heavily from her lower leg, but Darby refused to stop working, however, and told the corpsman to "wrap her leg up as best he could".   Throughout the traumatic aftermath, Darby continued to assist, even though she had sustained substantial injuries.  In recognition of being injured during war and for her courageous service to our country, Darby was one of four Navy nurses who received the Purple Heart during the Vietnam War.

After the war, Darby continued to administer care as well as influence young people to consider entering the field of nursing.  As a lieutenant, she also recruited and commissioned nursing students and graduates to join the Navy Nursing Corps, including our very own Captain Mary Jo Majors of the class of 1969.  Darby then earned senior rank as Captain and served as Chief Nurse at Navy Hospitals.

Darby is recognized by all who know her for her kindness and generous heart and for her life-long devotion to the nursing profession and quality health care.