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UW-Madison Veterans Campus Tour
Item 5 of 10
This is a contributing entry for UW-Madison Veterans Campus Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

While this location is off of the path of our tour, we would be remiss if we did not include a building named after one of the university's most prestigious veterans. Signe Scott Cooper Hall is the home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Nursing. Completed in 2014, the building bears the name of “one of nursing’s greatest national resources” and one of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s most distinguished veterans. Her lifetime of service, to her country, the university, and her fellow educators and nurses, is one of inspiration.

Signe Skott Cooper was a University of Wisconsin nursing student who finished her nursing program in February, 1943, passed the State Board of Nursing exams, and volunteered to serve in the Army Nurse Corps. As a First Lieutenant, Cooper served in military hospitals in Leo and Margherita, India, where her unit averaged a death per day. At the conclusion of World War II, she was discharged and sent to Fort Dix, NJ, so that she could outprocess from the Army.

Cooper then returned home to Middleton and accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. She served as the head nurse of the obstetrical unit while finishing her degree. Aided by the GI Bill, which paid for books and tuition, she completed her program while working full time.

Signe Skott Cooper retired from the university in 1983, leaving a lasting legacy of excellence. She was a trailblazer in nursing education, primarily in the sphere of distance learning, and found innovative ways to reach nurses across the state via radio and the Educational Telephone Network. She wrote two nursing textbooks and edited three others, helping students and licensed nurses alike learn and improve their profession. Signe Scott Cooper was a woman who devoted her life to serving others.

Knutson, Kari. Nursing pioneer Signe Skott Cooper: From the farm to the battlefield, News. November 11th 2018. Accessed May 18th 2022.