Doris Southall

Doris Southall


J. Ellsworth McCarthy Memorial Scholarship and Doris Southall Nursing Scholarship


Doris Southall’s career in nursing spanned a time when there were many significant advances in nursing practices and emergency response policies. Doris was born July 24, 1904 in Liberty, PA. She became interested in nursing when she had her tonsils taken out at the age of 5. In those days, there were no operating rooms — the nurse and doctor arrived at her house, cleared a table, and removed her tonsils in the (dis)comfort of her own home. From that day on, Dori wanted to be a nurse. She practiced on her dolls and resisted her mother’s wishes that she become a teacher.

Well, Doris did eventually become a teacher after a long career of nursing where she encountered everything from a child’s tongue frozen to a poll to as a school nurse to treating burn victims after industrial accidents. She came to Fairbanks in 1953 where she worked as a registered nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital and opened the first school cafeteria at Lathrop High School in 1955 where her brother, J. Ellsworth McCarthy, was high school principal.

Later in life, she became a senior activist. Her efforts resulted in the funding and construction of the Golden Towers and the Southall Manor Apartments, two senior housing developments. Doris also worked as a senior citizen at the UAF Library, and spent 11 years doing ‘free’ escort service for Native patients from villages to hospitals. She received an honorary doctorate from UAF at the age of 88 for her work with the Alaska’s Nurse’s Association historical project. Mrs. Southall died at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home on December 4, 1996 at the age of 91.

Doris created a fund to support students in the School of Education in memory of her brother J Ellsworth Mac McCarthy. Mac was born in Oswego, NY. After graduating from Mansfield State College he came to Alaska in 1949 as a history teacher and coach, and shortly thereafter became the principal of Lathrop High School. He held that position for 11 years and progressed to become the area supervisor of the State Department of Education. Mac was an active part of the Fairbanks community, serving in the Lions Club, Pioneers of Alaska, and Elks Lodge. During his 38 year career in education, he oversaw the construction and furnishing of four district area schools, taught in Pennsylvania and Washington, and served as the superintendent in Cordova and Homer.

If you are interested in supporting students through the student opportunity fund(s) that this donor supports, please note the fund name(s) from the scholarship list below within the gift designation section at: Give Now.