In Memoriam: Mary Gunther

Mary E. Gunther, associate professor in the College of Nursing, passed away on July 14.

Gunther, a native of Chicago, received her nursing diploma at St. Mary of Nazareth in 1968. She served as a staff pediatric staff nurse at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, University of Wisconsin Medical Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and at The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC). Gunther also served as the director of pediatrics, and as the director of nursing resources at UTMC.

She received her BSN in 1991, her MSN in 1993, and her PhD in 2001 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She joined the college as a faculty member in 2001.

During Gunther’s twenty years with the college, she served in multiple roles including associate professor, chair of the MSN program, director of graduate studies, and executive associate dean of academic affairs.

Gunther was a vital member of the College of Nursing team. She was loved by many members of the UT community including her students and colleagues.

“Dr. Gunther was an extraordinary nurse leader and colleague, she always had a way to make people smile,” said Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the college. “Her legacy lives on through the hundreds of students and faculty members she taught and mentored.”

Gunther earned a number of awards and honors throughout her career. She was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Societies. She was also active for many years in the Society of Rogerian Scholars, the King International Nursing Group, the Southern Nursing Research Society, and the American Nurses Association. Among her honors and awards were the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award from the College of Nursing and awards from Gamma Chi Chapter, STTI, for Outstanding Dissertation and Excellence in Research.

Her hobbies included decorating her home, gardening, and taking care of her three beloved cats.

“Dr. Gunther will forever be remembered as an incredibly brilliant and formidable nurse leader and scholar,” said Sadie Hutson, executive associate dean of academic affairs. “Her timeless wit and mentorship will leave an indelible mark on the hearts of all whom she touched.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the UT College of Nursing, with “Dr. Mary Gunther Scholarship for PhD Students” in the memo. Contributions can be mailed to UT College of Nursing, Attn: Advancement Office, 1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996.



Kara Clark (865-9749498,