A colored stained glass piece hanging in the USC Aiken School of Nursing honors a dedicated instructor.
The college unveiled the piece this week in remembrance of MaeDella Perry, RN, MSN, who passed away in May after a bout with breast cancer. Perry taught at USC Aiken for more than 10 years after retiring from the Medical College of Georgia, where she worked for nearly 30 years.
The hanging, made by Karin Wilkerson of Kickin Glass Art, graces the hallway which led to Perry’s office and features a white dove to symbolize the peace she brought to the school.
“She sort of represented peace to everybody. She was one of those people who could bring calmness,” said associate professor Thayer McGahee. “The stained glass is shining down her hallway. It was custom made for her.”
The piece also has lots of purple glass, which was Perry’s favorite color.
When she wasn’t working, she spent her time volunteering through many organizations for the betterment of others, according to her daughter Olivia Dorsey Tate.
Her specialty was child and adolescent psychiatry.
“I remember her saying, ‘Children need a voice,’” said daughter Olivia Dorsey Tate. “She had a heart for people.”
Perry was also a member of the Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority and First Shiloh Baptist Church, among other organizations.
“She was a giver. She really did live a life of service,” McGahee said. “She was very wise. She was the epitome of a psychiatric/mental health professional.”
Even after being diagnosed with breast cancer and during her chemotherapy treatments, Perry continued to work at USCA.
“Even on her bad days, she was still there teaching. To have a major institution install a permanent fixture for her, it blows my mind. It warms my heart to know her legacy will outlast us all,” Tate said.