It is with great respect and appreciation that we recognize the end oí Edna Stilwell's tenure as Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing. This issue will be her last. She will now be listed as Editor Emerita on the masthead. Without Edna's leadership, the Journal would not have made the tremendous strides that it has since its inception 23 years ago. For this, we are most grateful.
My father, Charles Slack, has shared many fond memories with me of how the idea for the Journal was conceived and made a reality. At a gerontological meeting in Philadelphia in the early 1970s, nurse participants expressed a need for a "leading edge" journal to be a forum for gerontological nurses. Edna, an active speaker and participant in gerontological meetings, was identified by Charles as someone who would be an asset to the leadership of such a Journal.
Thus the Journal of Gerontological Nursing was born, and Edna agreed to take on the position as Editor - with one request. Instead of paying her an honorarium, the publisher would provide her with a Winnebago, in which she could travel across the United States and Canada with her husband to promote the journal. Thereafter, Edna's Winnebago, sporting the journal's logo in large block letters, could be seen frequenting gerontological meetings and nursing schools all over North America. Now that's marketing! Another of Edna's ideas for generating interest in the journal was to design a "Love an Older Person Today" button. For years, thousands of convention goers and nurses everywhere proudly displayed this message on their chests for all to see. You couldn't miss these 3V4-inch buttons. We still receive requests for them today.
Edna's enthusiasm and dedication to the Journal in those early years have continued throughout her career as Editor and ensured the Journal's success. To recognize Edna's contributions to the Journal and to the gerontological nursing profession, SLACK Incorporated will establish the Edna Stilwell Writing Award, to be presented as a cash prize and a plaque at the annual Board Meeting. Beginning in 1998, all authors published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing will be eligible. With this award, we hope to continue Edna's tradition of mentoring and recognizing authors in the field of gerontological nursing.
Congratulations, Edna, on a well-deserved retirement from your duties as Editor. And thanks for the memories.