Sarah Waters Southard '77
Sarah “Sally” Waters Southard grew up in Annapolis, Maryland. She and her sister, Betty, attended Bryn Mawr School, a private boarding school in Baltimore, living with the school nurse and her family during the weekdays. Through an admission recruitment event at her high school, Sally and Betty learned of a small coeducational school in Virginia, perfect in size and distance from home. While her initial intention was to stay for two years before attending nursing school, young Sally would wait a full four years before pursuing post-graduate education.
At Roanoke, Sally immersed herself in both coursework and opportunities to gain practical experience in the medical field. Sally became a member of Phi Mu Sorority and a sweetheart of Kappa Alpha Order and met her future husband Robert “Bob” Southard.
After graduation, Sally did pursue her nursing education, earning a Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Nursing degrees at the University of Virginia. She embarked on a career in pediatric nursing that span forty years at Carilion Clinic. From pediatric staff nurse to pediatric clinical nurse specialist and then pediatric nurse practitioner, Sally has focused much of her work in the specialty of pediatric pulmonology and asthma.
At the age of ten years, Sally was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). While she recognizes that this diagnosis has been the most difficult challenge of her life as every moment of a day is impacted by T1D, she has refused to allow the disease to control her life. This is evident in her family and career. She has taken this drive to serve countless children and individuals both within the hospital walls and in her community. She has fulfilled roles as a volunteer leader for organizations such as her church, the Greater Blue Ridge Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley, American Lung Association, Virginia Healthcare Foundation, Virginia Asthma Coalition, and the City of Salem as a member of the School Board for fifteen years, serving as Chair of the Board for thirteen.
Sally was the 2012 Charles Brown Award Winner and has been presented the Living & Giving Award for her service to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. And for her alma mater, she serves as a Reunion Class Agent and a member of the President’s Advisory Board.
Sally and Bob generously support the College as members of the Associates Society, Society of 1842, and Maroon Club.