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Last modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Distinguished Professors Emeritae McBride, Zeani receive IU President's Medal

Sept. 11, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented the President's Medal for Excellence to Angela B. McBride, Distinguished Professor Emerita from the Indiana University School of Nursing, and Virginia Zeani, Distinguished Professor Emerita from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Medal Presentation

IU President Michael A. McRobbie presents the President's Medal for Excellence to Angela B. McBride.

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The presentation was made during a dinner Monday celebrating academic excellence. The President's Medal is the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

"Professors McBride and Zeani have dedicated their careers to research and creative activities that have made a transformative difference to Indiana University, its students and the world at large," McRobbie said. "Professor McBride, who is known for her important contributions to women's mental health, has mentored and nurtured other nurses as a professor, an author and an organizational president. She has also helped to improve the health of Indiana's citizens through her work as a member of the Board of Directors of IU Health.

"Professor Zeani is an opera legend, known for her beautiful voice, her remarkable technique and her affecting stage presence. During her long and distinguished teaching career, she has mentored and trained many students who have gone on to become acclaimed performers. Professors McBride and Zeani represent the great community of scholars that extends far beyond the walls of the academy."

McBride, dean of the IU School of Nursing from 1991 to 2003, was instrumental in locating Sigma Theta Tau's International Center for Nursing Scholarship on the IUPUI campus during her presidency of that organization (1987-89) and has served as president of the American Academy of Nursing (1993-95). She is a member of the IU Health Board, chairs the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Nurse Faculty Scholars program and serves on the board of the Society for Women's Health Research.

Her honors include the Outstanding Contributions to Nursing and Health Psychology award from the American Psychological Association's Division 38 on Health Psychology. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and was recognized as a "Living Legend" by the American Academy of Nursing.

Zeani, Virginia

Virginia Zeani

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A Romanian-born soprano, Zeani reigned as prima donna assoluta at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome for 25 years. She sang 69 leading roles during a career in which, performing in five languages, she moved with agility among the coloratura, lyric and dramatic soprano repertoires. She is especially admired for her interpretation of Violetta in "La Traviata," which she sang more than 600 times.

Zeani is the recipient of more than 30 awards and orders of merit for her singing, including the Puccini Prize in 1992, the Verdi in 1975, the Commendatore of the Italian Republic and the highest honor given by Romanian royalty, the Nihil Sine Deo. In 2010, Classical Singer magazine named her Teacher of the Year.

One of her best known students, two-time Grammy Award-winning soprano and IU Jacobs School of Music lecturer Sylvia McNair, recently narrated a video about Zeani's achievements.

The President's Medal for Excellence recognizes, among other criteria, distinction in public service, service to IU, and extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and industry. The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by IU's president at ceremonial occasions.