May 02, 2017

In Remembrance: Remembering a nurse and confidante

Louise Turner Van Wart Rusch officially served as Beloit’s campus nurse and house director of North College (now Campbell Hall) from 1938 to 1940.

Louise Turner Van Wart Rusch

Unofficially though, she was a sought-after listener and counselor, a confidante who could dispense advice to Beloit students along with aspirin tablets and TB tests.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing, she once chronicled her Beloit experiences for the school’s alumni magazine writing:

“Many times the student comes in for advice other than medical,” she wrote. “The nurse at a college of this size is a full-time confidante. She is known quite well by most of the students, and her advice is accepted as final. This may consist of everything from what to wear to proper procedure on dates plus all their troubles thrown in.”

Louise Rusch died last October at the age of 104. Although she did not attend Beloit herself, she married into an alumni family that spans four generations to date, extending from the end of the 19th century to 2008.

She was predeceased by her first husband, Donald Van Wart’29, whose mother was Genevieve Reitler Van Wart, class of 1899, one of the first women to enroll at Beloit. Among the other Beloit alumni survivors are her son, Donald R. Van Wart’65, grandsons Donald W. Van Wart’87 and Elliot Schulz’05, and granddaughter-in-law Elise Freed-Brown’08.


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  • The March Against Fear By Ann Bausum’79

    The March Against Fear

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