Marguerite Stella Jackson Schaefer

Marguerite Stella Jackson Schaefer, past dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, passed away June 19, 2018 in Slingerlands, N.Y., at the age of 95.

Schaefer was dean of the School of Nursing from 1966 until 1972 and was the first non-nurse to become dean of any school of nursing in the United States.

As dean, she was instrumental in the construction, plan and development of the Victoria Building, which now houses the School of Nursing. Nationally, Schaefer was the first non-nurse to receive the Alpha Tau Delta National Nursing Award, and was recognized for her contributions to the National Committee for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education.

After stepping down as dean of the School of Nursing, she returned to the school in 1974 as a professor of nursing education and taught nursing administration for several years.

Schaefer was a founding member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and was a member of numerous health care organizations. She also was cited as one of Pittsburgh's Ten Distinguished Women.

Later as a resident of Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, she served for several years as board president of the Meridian Club. In 2008, she established the Marguerite J. Schaefer Institute to implement new concepts in health care for the elderly. 

Schaefer earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of New Hampshire, her master’s at Michigan State University, and her doctorate in biochemistry and human nutrition in 1963 at the University of Pittsburgh.

As a musician from an early age, Schaefer was an admirer particularly of Brahms, Chopin and Schumann and maintained a lifelong love of classical music, playing piano for enthusiastic audiences well into her 90s. She was a longtime supporter of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and in 2008 she established the Marguerite J. Schaefer Endowment for Music to support concert performances and music education at the Beverwyck Retirement Community in Slingerlands, where she lived for 20 years. 

She is survived by her children, Martha Johanna Schaefer and August George Schaefer, and five grandchildren.

Donations may be made to the Marguerite J. Schaefer Endowment for Music, c/o Northeast Health Foundation, 310 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208.