Senior nurses receive professional pins: Londoño-Ayr reflects on her journey


Saint Anselm senior nurses pose for a photo outside Alumni Hall after receiving their pins in the Abbey Church on April 29. (Courtesy / @anselmnursing)

Patrick McGann, News Editor

Saint Anselm College senior nursing students celebrated the Nursing Pinning event on April 29 in the Abbey Church. The annual event is a highly anticipated event for nursing seniors and their families as they celebrate four years of rigorous studies in the college’s intense nursing program. Meredith Gebski ‘23 was awarded with the Doctor Joyce Clifford award, an award given to a senior nursing student who exhibits outstanding professionalism and leadership. 

All nursing members of the class of 2023 walked down the aisle of the Abbey Church to receive their Saint Anselm College nursing pin, where one would be placed on their collar. The women dressed in white nursing downs with a white hat with a blue stripe, as the men were dressed in suits and ties. In addition to the ceremony, mass was celebrated in honor of these young men and women becoming your nurses. As part of this, Abbott Mark Cooper O.S.B. blessed the soon to be alumni as they prepare to leave the Hilltop and begin their careers. 

As part of the ceremony, the Doctor Joyce Clifford award is given to one student. This year, the recipient was Meredith Gebski ‘23. Dr. Clifford is an alumna of Saint Anselm College and her award is given to a student who “represents the true spirit of a nurse leader through her distinguished professional practice and leadership.” Gebski was also Co-Chair of the planning committee for pinning alongside fellow nursing senior Mary Halle. The committee was given the task of forming sub-committees to prepare for the ceremony and make sure that everything was prepared for the day. Gebski and Halle were nominated by professors in the nursing department then elected by their peers. Gebski was unaware that she would be receiving the award until her name was called out during the ceremony. “I had no idea that I would be receiving this award at the ceremony,” she said. “ I felt immense gratitude and disbelief when Doctor O’Reilly announced my name. I immediately thought back to how challenging nursing school has been, how much these challenges have formed me, and how proud I am of myself and my nursing abilities.” 

Chloe Londoño-Ayr was selected to be the student speaker during the event. She submitted an essay on her journey as a nursing student at Saint Anselm College and to give parting words to her class as they prepare to graduate. She found out that she was selected to be the speaker while giving a tour to a prospective family. “I was actually giving an official nursing tour to a mother and daughter, and I had just finished sharing with them the unique ceremonies that happen here at Saint A’s including Blessing of the Hands and Pinning, when Professor Finn came out of her office to offer the good news,” Londoño-Ayr said. “ I immediately began to cry tears of joy and so did Professor Finn. We shared a hug and then looked over at the family and they too were crying.”

Londoño-Ayr spoke on how her original rejection from the nursing program played a role in her continued efforts to succeed and ultimately led her to being the student speaker at the pinning ceremony. “ It was very special to get to this moment after originally being turned down by the nursing program. This was the idea I wanted to highlight in the speech, the idea of resiliency in the face of rejection. Everything good that has come to me in my life I have had to work hard for,” she said. She wanted to let everyone know that not everything in life is going to be easy and that rejection should be used as fuel to keep pushing forward. 

Every year, the pinning ceremony marks a bitter-sweet moment for the nursing students. It gives them an opportunity to reflect on all that they have accomplished over the last four years, while also serving as a reminder that their time on the Hilltop is coming to a close. “What made me even more emotional was the amount of people who were there to support me,” Londoño-Ayr said. “I couldn’t have survived nursing school without all of my support walking alongside me and they, along with my nursing class, were all in one room together.” Gebski echoes a similar thought, showing how proud she was of her entire class. “ I would like to congratulate the nursing class of 2023. Being pinned is a big deal and a huge accomplishment and I am proud of each and every one of us,” she said. 

From the Blessing of the Hands ceremony to the pinning, the nursing class of 2023 has completed their intense coursework to become nurses. The class looks forward to commencement activities and graduation, which is set to take place on May 20 on Alumni Quad.

Senior nurses receive their nursing pins during ceremony in Abbey Church. (Courtesy / Saint Anselm College)


Nursing students gather following pinning to celebrate. (Courtesy / Saint Anselm College)


Chloe Londoño-Ayr delivers student
address during 2023 pinning ceremony. (Courtesy / Saint Anselm College)