When told the news, Dr. Willis was thrilled and replied, "That would be an honour!"
The decision to nominate Dr. Willis was an easy one; her contribution to the nursing profession has been outstanding. In 1973, Dr. Willis advocated for the School of Nursing to become a College of Nursing, equal to all existing colleges on campus at the U of S. After graduating in 1942 from the Atkinson School of Nursing in Toronto, she spent one year at the University of British Columbia where she received a certificate for Teaching and Supervision. Shortly after, Lucy came to Saskatchewan and for six years held a series of appointments from Head Nurse to Education and Social Director in City Hospital, Saskatoon. Lucy worked tirelessly during the polio epidemic in the 1950's.
In 1954 Dr. Willis joined the U of S faculty and was appointed as the third director of the School of Nursing. She supervised the three year diploma course and clinical years of the degree program, which included supervision of clinical faculty, programming student rotations, interviewing and making decisions for about 200 applicants each year for the three year program.
From 1961 to 1963 Miss Willis completed a doctorate degree in Education at the University of Berkley, California. She was the first nurse in Saskatchewan to achieve a PhD; only one other nurse in Canada had such a degree at that time. After her retirement, Dr. Willis continued to support student nurses by offering nursing awards, scholarships and book prizes. She also acted as a mentor for student and faculty.