Category: Health Magazine, Summer 2023

Title:‘Stay true to your values’

Author: Karen Doss Bowman
Date Published: June 20, 2023
President John J. DeGioia is next to a woman who uses a wheelchair onstage
At the 2023 Patrick Healy Dinner, President DeGioia honored Margaret (Hayes) Jordan with the Samuel A. Halsey Jr. Award. She made Georgetown history in 1964 when she became the first African American student to graduate with the BSN from the School of Nursing.
Photo: Phil Humnicky

Margaret (Hayes) Jordan (N’64) made Georgetown history in 1964 as the first Black student to graduate from the School of Nursing. She went on to build a distinguished career as a health care executive, community leader, and advocate for social change in health care.

In January, Jordan received the 2022 Samuel A. Halsey Jr. Award during Georgetown’s annual Patrick Healy Dinner. The award, presented by the Georgetown University Alumni Association Black Alumni Council, is named for Georgetown’s first Black undergraduate.

“I grew up in a family with a long history of achievement, and we were very proud of it,” says Jordan, who was inspired as a young girl by the Sue Barton book series about the title character’s journey through nurse training and career. “God provided me with the intelligence and resources to pursue a career in nursing, health care administration, and community empowerment among underserved minority populations.”

a woman smiles in front of a background (black and white photo)
Margaret (Hayes) Jordan (N’64). Photo: Caduceus yearbook

A Washington, DC, native, Jordan followed her Georgetown undergraduate work with a master of public health degree in 1972 from the University of California, Berkeley. During her distinguished career, she served as president and CEO of Dallas Medical Resource—a community business-health care partnership to promote the region’s leadership in medical services—for more than two decades. She also served in executive roles for organizations such as Southern California Edison, Kaiser Foundation Plan, and San Francisco General Hospital.

Jordan, who also was president and CEO of Margaret Jordan Group, LLC, served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the American Public Health Association and the American Hospital Association. She was a founding director of the National Black Nurses Association. A recipient of the Georgetown School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, Jordan also received the 1992 Alumna of the Year Award from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. A scholarship for Georgetown nursing students is named in her honor, given annually to an African American student from Washington, DC.

Jordan believes a nursing degree provides a strong foundation for health care careers, opening up a wide range of leadership opportunities. She cherishes her Georgetown experience as an essential part of her lifelong personal and career development. “The basis of learning, the solid philosophy, and the set of principles and standards that Georgetown invokes in you carry through for the rest of your life,” says Jordan, a former director on the board of James Madison’s Montpelier Foundation. “Those attributes make all the difference in the world, especially when you must make tough decisions. You learn to stay true to your values and true to the path that God intended for you.”

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