Claire Fagin

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Claire Fagin
Interim President of the University of Pennsylvania
In office
Preceded bySheldon Hackney
Succeeded byJudith Rodin
Dean of the School of Nursing of the University of Pennsylvania
In office
Preceded byDorothy Mereness
Succeeded byNorma Lang
Personal details
Born (1926-11-25) November 25, 1926 (age 94)
New York City, New York
Spouse(s)Sam Fagin
Alma materColumbia University
New York University

Claire Mintzer Fagin, RN, Ph.D, FAAN (born November 25, 1926) is an American nurse, educator, academic, and consultant. She has a bachelor's degree in Science from Wagner College, a Master's in Nursing from Columbia University and a Ph.D from New York University, all in New York City.[1] Fagin’s major contributions to psychiatric nursing, nursing education and geriatric care was always underlined with a strong belief in the power of the activist consumer. As a result of her work to change hospital visiting policies Dr. Fagin is considered to be one of the founders of family centered care and is the first woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university.[2]


Fagin was the daughter of Mae and Harry Mintzer, immigrants to New York City. Her parents wished for her to become a medical doctor like her aunt, who was a dermatologist in Queens.[3] She elected to study nursing at Wagner College and earned a doctorate at New York University. Her doctoral dissertation covered the concept of "rooming in" for parents of hospitalized children. She continued her research in this area, which influenced the perception of parental visitation in hospitals.[4]

She served as Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania from 1977 to 1991, when she left to do geriatric nursing research as a Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. She was Presidential Chair in early 1993 at the University of California, San Francisco.

In 1993 she was named interim president of the University of Pennsylvania (from July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994), the first woman to serve in the capacity of a university president with any Ivy League university. She continued to focus on geriatric nursing after returning to the professoriate in 1994 and has done so ever since. In 2005 she completed five years as director of the "John A. Hartford Foundation Program: Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity", which is coordinated in Washington, D.C., at the American Academy of Nursing. She is a past president of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.[5]

She is Leadership Professor Emerita, Dean Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania and has received 15 honorary doctoral degrees as well as the prestigious Honorary Recognition Award of the American Nurses Association. On November 30, 2006, the nursing education building at the University of Pennsylvania was renamed Claire M. Fagin Hall.

She is an Honorary Fellow of the UK Royal College of Nursing,[6] was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 2010 and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Nursing, the Century Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is currently emeritus on the Board of Trustees of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.


Fagin and her husband, Samuel Fagin, have two sons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1991-92, 5. 5.; 1991-92, 5. 5. (1991-07-25). The international who's who 1991-92. ISBN 9780946653706.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Claire Fagin (M.A. '51)". Teachers College Columbia University.
  3. ^ Manchester, Lee. "Fearless". Wagner Magazine (Fall 2011). Wagner College. Retrieved December 14, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "ANA'S 2010 Hall of Fame and Honorary Awards Program". American Nurses Association. Retrieved December 14, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Brown, Bertram (April 1985). "Claire M. Fagin, Ph.D.: President: American Orthopsychiatric Association". American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 55 (2): 164–165. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.1985.tb03429.x.
  6. ^ "Claire M Fagin RN PhD DNSc FAAN FRCN". RCN Fellows. Royal College of Nursing. 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2011-08-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sheldon Hackney
President of the University of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Judith Rodin