College Names School of Nursing in Honor of W. Cary Edwards

December 3, 2010

W. Cary Edwards

W. Cary Edwards

Thomas Edison State College has formally announced its School of Nursing has been named in honor of the late W. Cary Edwards for the instrumental role he played in the 1980s to help establish a nursing program at the college.

During his tenure as chief counsel to New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean, Edwards was instrumental in securing the initial funding that made it possible to begin nursing education at Thomas Edison State College and did so in the midst of a significant budget crisis in New Jersey.

“In the early 1980s, shortly after I arrived at Thomas Edison State College, we had been granted approval to offer a nursing program but had no means to develop and implement the program,” said Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College. “The fiscal climate in New Jersey at that time was rough, but I met with Cary about our situation and explained to him the importance of launching this program. He saw the value in supporting it.”

Edwards played a key role in securing $240,000 for Thomas Edison State College, which enabled the College to launch its nursing program in 1983.

“Without this funding, we would not have been able to launch our nursing program at that time,” said Pruitt. “Since then, it has grown into the largest nursing program in New Jersey and one of the largest of its kind in the country.”

The College formally announced the naming of the new W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing on November 6 at its annual Grande Ball. The College’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of the school in honor of Edwards at its June 2010 meeting.

Edwards’ distinguished record of public service also includes serving as commissioner and chair of the New Jersey State Commission on Investigation, New Jersey’s attorney general, a member of the New Jersey State Legislature and on numerous boards. He passed away on Oct. 20, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer.

About Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults, Thomas Edison State College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The College is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Further information about admission to the College may be obtained by calling (888) 442-8372, via e-mail at or by visiting the College website at