Student volunteers tying balloons to a bench commemorating Jessica GirardStudent volunteers tied balloons to a bench commemorating Jessica Girard, the late president of the Nursing Society, on Wednesday in preparation of welcoming new students to the faculty.

Tribute to late student leader greets newcomers to nursing

Nursing students attending first-year orientation Wednesday were greeted by a tribute to one of their predecessors: balloon bouquets gracing a bench dedicated to Jessica Girard, a president of the Nursing Society who died in May 2014.

The memorial bench stands outside the entrance to the Toldo Health Education Centre, where its bright orange balloons welcomed the new students. A plaque describes Girard as “Joyful heart, Passionate leader, Authentic friend.”

She would have appreciated Wednesday’s gesture, says professor Kathy Pfaff.

“Orange was Jessica’s favourite colour and the welcoming ceremony was one of her favourite days of the academic year,” she says.

Donations from the Faculty of Nursing covered sponsorship of the bench, and a team of student volunteers led by professor Debbie Dayus tied the balloons to it. Program orientation sessions for all first-entry undergraduate programs preceded the Welcoming Celebration. Find a full schedule of UWindsor Welcome Week activities at

Academic Area: