Class of 1977 Spotlight: Anna Murphy
Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 3:24 PM PDT
Anna Murphy, ’77, grew up in Hawaii with a desire to study nursing on the mainland. Seattle U’s standing as one of the top 10 nursing programs in the country was all the incentive she needed to pack up and head to the Emerald City.
Seattle U’s Jesuit influence was evident in the nursing program. “SU made me more aware of the needs of the individual person and I learned a lot about leadership and thinking outside the box,” Anna shared.
These lessons would prove to be strong building blocks for the next chapter of Anna’s life in the military. With her wanderlust unsatisfied, Anna joined the Air Force. “I wanted to see the world and I was someone who liked order and wearing a uniform. I thought it would be a good fit.”
Anna’s military career enabled her to see the country and live in Japan. She began as an Air Force pediatric nurse and moved through the ranks becoming a nurse executive at Travis Air Force Base.
Despite a successful and rewarding career in the military, a desire for more stability for her three daughters led Anna to retire to Spokane. Continuing on the Jesuit path, her daughters attended Gonzaga Prep.
After working as a home health nurse, Anna eventually took a job with the local Jesuit infirmary. In her new role, she served as nurse to retired Jesuits from across the Pacific Northwest – including Jesuits from Seattle U.
When we asked Anna what she found most meaningful about her job, she said, “I think it’s the fact that 99.9% of the Jesuits are so humble and appreciate all we do for them. The Jesuit infirmary is considered a private community and so it’s not like working at a nursing home. We are free to do what we can to make their last years as pleasant as possible. Joining the Jesuit Infirmary was like coming home again. The values instilled at SU emphasized being kind and social justice. The Jesuits felt like old friends who would reminisce about the old days at Seattle U.”
Despite living and working in Spokane, Anna has stayed connected to Seattle U, returning to attend class reunions. This year, Anna has taken it one step further and joined the Class of 1977 reunion committee, helping to plan the festivities for Grand Reunion Weekend May 5-7.
Anna invites her clinical and 1977 classmates to return to Seattle U. “I have always wanted to catch up. Let’s get together and find out what’s going on in our lives. What’s your family life like? Let’s see how the college has grown. It’s expanded so much. Let’s see how far we’ve come since the 70’s.”