2022 Cheryl McRae-Bergeron, DNP (NUR ’94)

McRae-Bergeron, wearing a bright coral blouse and scarf, stands with her hands on the back of a chair and colorful artwork in the background

Cheryl McRae-Bergeron spent her career serving as a nursing professional in the U.S. Air Force. And, as she rose through the ranks, she nurtured those who came behind her.

She was a decorated Air Force colonel and, as a reservist, was the chief nurse of Air Combat Command and both the chief of medical operations and chief nurse for Pacific Air Command when she retired in 2002.

She also was a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) who advocated for the importance of this advanced nursing specialty and helped establish CRNA training in other countries.

“Nursing has been my life’s passion, especially my work as a CRNA,” McRae-Bergeron said.

Earlier this year, she made a $5.5 million scholarship commitment to the university’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing for doctoral students in the nurse anesthetist program.

The university “provided me with the confidence I needed to elevate my career,” said McRae-Bergeron, who has served on the alumni association boards of both the university and the nursing school. “I felt it was about time that I began a legacy of giving for those who are the future of nursing and to the institution that is on the cutting edge of healthcare delivery.”

This piece, written by Jo Steigerwald, originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Think Magazine.