Student Support Center named in DeVasher’s honor

By unanimous vote, MTSA’s Board of Trustees will rename the Student Support Center in honor of Dean Emerita Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher, PhD, CRNA, announced Chairman Victor Martin, MBA, CRNA.

PHOTO: MTSA Dean Emerita Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher, PhD, CRNA, reacts as the announcement is made that the Student Support Center will be named in her honor.

Martin made the announcement in a surprise presentation at MTSA’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) graduation ceremony in December, saying, “For 45 years [DeVasher] has been the catalyst and glue of the institution, and the person that prompted and pushed us all to achieve and improve. It’s through her efforts that MTSA made the progression from certificate to Masters; and from Masters to Doctorate.”

The commemoration of DeVasher’s service to MTSA coincided with the School’s first class of graduates from the Practice Doctorate program, which she was instrumental in launching, Martin said. He added that the growth of the institution came with dedication, hard work and effort by the faculty, staff and administration – but that DeVasher’s contribution stands out.

“She and her family’s commitment to the institution is incredible, as her husband Bernard taught for many years, and their daughter Dr. Alescia DeVasher Bethea served as MTSA Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness & Program Development,” Martin said.

“Please join me in congratulating Dr. Ikey DeVasher as we recognize her commitment, impact, and dedication to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia,” Martin concluded, as those in attendance rose for a standing ovation.

Describing her reaction to the surprise presentation, DeVasher said, “As Vic and Chris approached the platform, I was lost in thought as to how much Vic reminded me of his mom, who had been my mentor in nursing, and how she would have been so proud of him. That led me to think how proud I was of both Vic and Chris, two of my ‘anesthesia children,’ for their abilities and willingness to engage in leadership positions.”

She added that she was “surprised, dumbfounded… when the announcement was made. Tears flowed. To have my name in such a prominent place, especially in the sight of a building with the name of my own anesthesia mentor, Bernard Bowen, is very humbling and such an honor. Being selected for this is deeply meaningful.”

The formal naming of the Mary Elizabeth “Ikey” DeVasher Student Support Center completes the naming of all MTSA campus buildings, including Percy T. Magan Hall and the Bernard V. Bowen Academic Center.

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