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Geddes, LaNelle E.



  • Existence: September 15, 1935 - January 25, 2016

Biographical Information

LaNelle E. (Nerger) Geddes was born on September 15, 1935 in Houston, Texas to Carl O. and Evelyn Nerger. She received a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Houston in 1957, and earned a PhD in Biophysics there in 1970. After receiving her PhD, Geddes taugh at the Texas Women's University and in the Department of Physiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Geddes joined the faculty at Purdue in 1975 where her husband, Leslie A. Geddes, was the head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Lanelle started in the School of Nursing as the Assistant Head of the Department. In 1980, she was promoted to the Head of the Department and served as Head until 1991. While at Purdue, Geddes challenged traditional perceptions of nurses as merely doctors' assistants who were wrongly believed to have no expertise or skill for diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Geddes was also instrumental in instituting a four-year nursing baccalaureate program and starting the Freshman Scholars, a program that provided scholarships to outstanding incoming freshman.

Geddes' research was focused on cardiovacular physiology. Her teaching emphasized the impact of human pathophysiologic alterations and their influence on nursing and medical care. Her inclusion of pathophysiology encouraged her students to make better clinical judgements and to be stronger patient advocates. From 1996-2003, Geddes also taught pathophysiology to IU School of Medicine students at Purdue University. Geddes retired as a professor emeritus in 2003.

Geddes' research and teaching had far-reaching impacts, and she received many awards over the course of her career. She was an AMOCO Foundation (Murphy) Award winner, a fellow of the University Teaching Academy, and a Helen B Schleman Gold Medallion Awardee. She also received the Lafayette YWCA Salute to Women Award and the Westminster Village Lifetime Service Award for her work within the community. Geddes passed away on January 25, 2016.


"Dr. LaNelle E. Geddes Obituary." Journal and Courier [Lafayette, IN]. Accessed January 28, 2016.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Awards, 1977 - 2015

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 486, Series 2, Sub-series 2
Scope and Contents This sub-series contains the awards that LaNelle Geddes received while teaching at Purdue as well as recognitions in newspaper clippings and magazines.
Dates: 1977 - 2015

Leslie and LaNelle Geddes papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 486
Scope and Contents The Leslie and LaNelle Geddes paper document the personal and professional lives of Dr. Leslie Geddes and Dr. LaNelle Geddes. Dr. Leslie Geddes’ project files, lecture notes, and awards are particularly well-represented in this collection, as is Dr. LaNelle Geddes’ speeches, teaching awards, and correspondence.
Dates: 1921 - 2015

Personal, 1956 - 2006

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 486, Series 2, Sub-series 4
Scope and Contents This sub-series contains publications by LaNelle Geddes, personal photos and documents, correspondence, and her wedding ring and pins.
Dates: 1956 - 2006

Purdue University School of Nursing records

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 20170616.2

Speeches, 1977 - 2003

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 486, Series 2, Sub-series 3
Scope and Contents This sub-series contains manuscripts of the speeches that LaNelle Geddes gave while at Purdue.
Dates: 1977 - 2003

Teaching, 1977 - 2003

 Sub-Series — Box: 56
Identifier: MSF 486, Series 2, Sub-series 1
Scope and Contents The teaching sub-series contains LaNelle Geddes' class assignments, course evaluations, and documents from her retirement in 2003.
Dates: 1977 - 2003

Tributes, 2003

 Sub-Series — Box: 55
Identifier: MSF 486, Series 2, Sub-series 5
Scope and Contents This sub-series contains a memory book gifted to LaNelle Geddes upon her retirement from Purdue in 2003.
Dates: 2003