Advocate BroMenn Medical Center Dedicates Plaque, Walkway in Honor of $1.5 Million Donor
NORMAL, ILL. -- Last year, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal was the surprise beneficiary of a $1.5 million gift from the estate of Marie Beckort McClanahan of Evanston, Ill., a 1928 graduate of the Brokaw School of Nursing who passed away in February 2012 at age 105. Next week, the hospital plans to recognize that gift with the presentation of a memorial plaque and the dedication of a walkway in McClanahan’s honor.
The plaque’s unveiling and the dedication will take place at 3 pm on Wednesday, May 8 in the second floor walkway that joins the hospital’s newly-opened wing to its atrium. The event is being held in conjunction with a tea for alumni of the Brokaw School of Nursing, which educated nurses from 1902 until becoming part of Illinois Wesleyan University in 1959.
BroMenn Medical Center president Colleen Kannaday will speak at the event, along with vice president of development Scott Ford and Dr. John Frisch, a retired Brokaw Hospital physician.
The bulk of McClanahan’s estate was divided between BroMenn Medical Center and Northwestern University in Evanston, the alma mater of McClanahan’s husband Rodman, who died in 1991. The hospital used the bequest to help pay for its new patient tower, which opened in June 2012.
Marie Beckort was born in 1907 to Elizabeth and Fred Beckort and grew up in Elkhart, Ill. She studied nursing in Normal at Brokaw School of Nursing, which at that time was affiliated with Brokaw Hospital, a predecessor of Advocate BroMenn Medical Center. In 1929, a year after her graduation from nursing school, she married Rodman McClanahan and the pair left central Illinois and settled in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. As was common at the time, Mrs. McClanahan initially gave up nursing to concentrate on starting a family, while Rodman rose to prominence with Middle West Service Co., a management and engineering consulting firm that is now part of Stanley Consultants. The couple had only one child, a boy born in 1930 who died in infancy.
Eventually, Mrs. McClanahan returned to nursing, working for a time as supervisor of a surgical floor at Evanston Hospital and as a night supervisor at Evanston Cradle, a local adoption agency. After her husband’s death, she lived for several years at the Presbyterian Home in Evanston.