Dr. Nancy G. Witt '51
A native of Vinton, Nancy Garrett Witt graduated from Roanoke College in biology with first honors in 1951. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in 1955.
She served her internship at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Roanoke and was named staff physician at DeJarnette State Sanatorium in Staunton, Virginia, in 1957. She was named chief of service in 1967. Dr. Witt was the only woman superintendent at a state medical facility at the time. Under her management, DeJarnette became the only self-supporting state mental health facility in the country.
During her time at DeJarnette, Dr. Witt pioneered the development of behavior modification as a practical and economical way of treating mental illness. She served as the director for the DeJarnette Child Development center, in which she implemented the first behaviorally-oriented program for children in the state. She was known for embracing new treatments and unique approaches to psychiatric issues.
Dr. Witt also served the community in private practice for a number of years. She developed teacher training programs through affiliations with several colleges and universities and worked with local school teachers.
Professionally, she was a member of the Medical Society of Virginia, American Psychiatric Association and Neuropsychiatric Association, among others, and served as a trustee for the Schizophrenia Foundation of Virginia. She was on the professional advisory board for the Mental Health Services association. She has been listed in both Who's Who in America and Personalities of the South.
Dr. Witt served as a member of the Roanoke College board of Trustees from 1971 through 1997 and has been a longtime Roanoke College Associate. She chaired the Student Affairs Committee and served on the Presidential Search Committee when the College was seeking Dr. Norman Fintel's successor.
Nancy G. Witt received the Roanoke College Medal in 1971.