Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
New Pitt Nursing Scholarship to Commemorate Life of Lieutenant Colonel Julia Minno
For the late Pitt alumna Lieutenant Colonel Julia Minno, nursing was as much a calling as a career. To truly be a nurse, she contended, one always should be ready to extend a helping hand, even beyond the call of duty.
“My sister realized nurses were asked to do
extra things, often at odd hours and in unusual circumstances,” said Alexander
M. Minno, M.D., a 1947 graduate of the
In honor of Julia Minno’s inspiring life and career, Alexander Minno and his wife, Frances, have donated $108,000 to the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing to endow an undergraduate scholarship fund. Starting next fall, this scholarship will be awarded each year to one undergraduate student from Western Pennsylvania.
A native of Conemaugh, Julia Minno received
her degree in nursing from Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johns-town.
She later earned a B.S. degree in Nursing Education (’49) and a M.Litt.
degree in Nursing Education (’53)
She started her nursing career at Cresson Sanatorium, then went on to work for the American Red Cross, Community Nursing Service, the National Foundation for Prevention of Infantile Paralysis, the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Aspinwall, before joining the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1954.
During her 17-year military career, she served at Fort Dix in New Jersey and Fort Belvoir in Virginia, and had duty tours in France, Japan, West Germany, and Ethiopia.
Alexander Minno said his sister not only provided care for American troops stationed abroad, but she also ministered to the needs of foreign citizens.
“Julia ran a general clinic in Ethiopia, helping
to introduce preventative medicine to that country,” he recalled. “Among
her many accomplishments as a nurse in Ethiopia, she gave immunizations
and provided healthcare education. She would
He added that Julia Minno was more than just a nurse to her patients — she was also a friend.
“As was so characteristic of her, Julia formed
an emotional bond with many of her patients,” he said. “She became a godparent
to at least 100 Ethiopians and organized several drives to gather clothing
and food for needy people in that
Julia Minno died on September 3, 1987, and was laid to rest with full military honors in the nurses’ section of Arlington National Cemetery. Her brother said this scholarship will be a fitting tribute to a truly caring and compassionate nurse who was a strong role model for many other nurses.
“I think my sister would be honored that a
scholarship has been created in her name which will benefit future nurses,”
Alexander Minno said. “Julia believed that learning to do what you enjoy
will last for a lifetime.”