Update & Alumna Spotlight: Medical Sciences Library Photograph

We were thrilled to find out that a UCSF alumna spotted herself in one of the photographs of the old Medical Sciences library! New library Med Sci

Sally Alpers Arney is shown sitting at the table, third from the left, looking, I think we can all agree, extremely studious. At the time the photograph was taken, 1958, Sally was in her first year of the UCSF nursing program. She left the nursing school after that year and later graduated from the UCSF physical therapy program in 1961.

Sally Alpers, Medi-Cal, 1961

Sally Alpers, Medi-Cal yearbook, 1961

Sally was kind enough to share a few memories about UCSF, student life pre-women’s movement, and what she’s been up to for the last 50 years or so. Read on..

“My favorite memories were of having dinner with my classmates and the medical students in the cafeteria.  Most, if not all, of the medical students were guys, all of the nursing classmates were “girls”.  It was the olden days in the Fifties.

I started the UCSF nursing program in 1958, and I quit along with perhaps 30% of the class before the school year was over.  The nursing school interviewed us, to determine what had gone wrong… I still don’t know what they concluded, but in hind site, I think for many of us, it was the result of the way women in general were treated in those times…It was before the Women’s movement, and there were few words to identify how young women were made to feel due to sexism (a word that didn’t exist). I returned to Cal and took the courses I needed for the UCSF Physical Therapy program. At that time,I also spent a semester at University of Vienna, Austria, and then returned to complete the UCSF PT program.  I loved being in the PT program.

My first job after graduation in 1961 was at Herrick’s East Bay Rehabilitation Center…I was thrilled to work there, as it was one of the two most important rehabilitation programs in the Bay Area at that time. I eventually started my own practice, Oakland Physical Therapy Center…I always enjoyed being a physical therapist, and feel fortunate to have been a part of the UCSF program.

I have continued to live in the Bay Area…and feel so fortunate to live here, near San Francisco, the Sierras, the Pacific Ocean, Cal, and the largest wildlands of any metropolitan area in the world. I live in Piedmont, CA where both of my children and 5 grandchildren live. I still return to UCSF for the Mini Medical Osher LIfe Long Learning programs. This year I toured the Mission Bay Campus on Alumni Day.  Life is Good…”

Thanks for keeping in touch, Sally!

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