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University Archives and History

Margaret Catherine Moore Papers, 1913-1982

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About Margaret Catherine Moore

Margaret Moore (1913-1975) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where she grew up with two older brothers and three male cousins and learned to take care of herself at an early age. Foreshadowing her time as an army nurse, young Margaret joined the "Red Star Training Class," a children's organization in the mold of the Red Cross.

 

MooreMoore attended Forest Park High School, the only coed high school in Baltimore at that time. She participated in all varsity sports available to girls, lettered in field hockey and basketball, and served as president of the Girls' Athletic Association. Upon graduation, Moore decided to attend the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG). There, Moore served on the Judicial Board and the Honor Board, and played varsity hockey. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1935.

 

After college, Moore taught high school science and physical education until 1938, when she enrolled in NYU's School of Education. She completed her master's degree in education in 1939. She then served as Recreational Director of the Gouvenour Neighborhood House in New York City from 1940 to 1941. During this time Moore's friend Elizabeth Kemble encouraged her to further her education in nursing. Moore enrolled in NYU's Bellevue School of Nursing and received her Certificate of Nursing in 1943.

 

Moore enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in May 1944. As a Lieutenant, she supervised a ward in the Convalescent Section of the 121st General Hospital in England, and traveled through France, Germany and Italy before returning to the U.S. at war's end.

 

After she separated from service, Moore was appointed to the Baker VA Center in Virginia. During her time there, Moore purchased a 97 acre farm with Ruth Kelly, the hospital's physical therapist. Together they grew barley, small grains, and grass for hay, and stocked cattle, sheep, pigs and rabbits. However, Moore grew disillusioned with the inefficiency and red tape associated with government work, and resigned.

 

In 1949, Moore took a position as Instructor of Medical-Surgical Nursing at the Winchester Hospital before moving on to become the Administrator and Director of Nurses at the Warren Memorial Hospital in 1951. There, she supervised the building of a new wing and the expansion of services. She also began the process of integrating hospital staff, but ran into strong opposition from the board, which caused her to resign.

 

Moore then enrolled in the master's degree program in hospital administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she found a new friend in associate dean Eloise Lewis. Moore graduated in 1960, and stayed in Chapel Hill to teach. When Lewis was sent to Greensboro to establish a new school of nursing, she took Moore along as her assistant.

 

Moore worked closely with architects on the design of a new building for the nursing school, and was active in the North Carolina Nurse's Association, as well as the local Presbyterian church. She died suddenly in 1975.

 

About the collection

The Margaret Catherine Moore Papers date from 1913 to 1982 and contain biographical material, diplomas and degrees, a high school annual, photographs, Moore's thesis from New York University, and World War II materials.

 

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