Clare Sandekian, MS ’69, RN, CNS, CAC III
Recipient of the Distinguished Service AwardCollege of Nursing Marketing | College of Nursing Oct 31, 2014
When Clare Sandekian, MS ’69, RN, CNS, CAC III, came to Denver in the 1960s, she had a background as a psychiatric nursing instructor and was a member of the US Army Nurse Corps Reserve. She graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing and received her BSN from the San Francisco College for Women, as well as a master’s in Education from San Francisco State University.
Sandekian was recruited by the Director of the Colorado Psychiatric Hospital to be the Associate Director of Nursing, the highest position in the hospital for a nurse. While working, she enrolled in the graduate school at the University of Colorado School of Nursing to earn a master’s in psychiatric nursing, which she received in 1969.
She served the Colorado Psychiatric Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center for 11 years. Following that position, Sandekian served as Director of Nursing for Lutheran Medical Center and Denver General Hospital, for eleven years each. Throughout this time, Sandekian served in the Army Nurse Corps Reserve, which was activated several times to assist with Colorado disasters and various other needs. Ultimately, she served as the Army Reserve Chief Nurse at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, now known as Building 500 on the Anschutz Medical Campus. She retired with the rank of full colonel after 28 years of service.
To Sandekian, her most rewarding experiences, and her legacy, were mentoring the graduate nursing students who received clinical experience in the various facilities where she was a nursing leader. These experiences created the focus for her future contributions to nursing scholarships.
During the 1990s, Sandekian became a board member of the CU School of Nursing Alumni Association. She served as President, and worked tirelessly on a variety of committees. Clare remains a member today. One of her projects was to get the Alumni Association board to establish a scholarship for alumni who wanted to continue their education. She made sure that there were adequate funds for these graduate scholarships and often added to the dollar amount when funds were short or when there were several deserving applicants. In 2013, the alumni board voted to rename its fund the S. Clare Sandekian Scholarship.
Sandekian supported nursing education in other ways as well. When the college was moving to the new Anschutz Medical Campus and needed clinical lab space, she and her family stepped up to help fund a new Clinical Education Center.
The Alumni Board recognizes the many numerous contributions that she has brought to the Alumni Association over a period of 20 years. For her vision, leadership, insight and support, Sandekian was recognized with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014.
Though Sandekian passed away January 1, 2015, her dedication and service continues to influence the College of Nursing and the CON Alumni Association.