Rhetaugh Graves Dumas, PhD, RN, FAAN, one of the nursing profession’s most distinguished leaders, educators, researchers, health policy-makers and psychiatric nursing scholars, passed away on July 22 at the age of 78. Dr. Dumas was vice provost emerita, dean emerita and Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor. She was the first African American woman to serve as a dean at the university and was also the first woman, first African American and first nurse to serve as a deputy director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Dr. Dumas joined the University of Michigan nursing faculty as dean in 1981 and served in that capacity until 1994, when she was named vice provost for health affairs. As dean, she had a major impact on the advancement of nursing, health care and academic programs at the university and she led the School of Nursing in forming collaborative partnerships with the School of Medicine and other related disciplines. She also conducted her own extensive research in the field of mental health nursing and was the author of many journal articles and book chapters.

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