Longtime nursing faculty members retire

Joyce Huber and Ruby Graber

With the close of the 2015-16 academic year, the Hesston College community bid farewell to two beloved nursing faculty members. With a combined 66 years of service to Hesston College, numerous student lives touched and careers inspired, Ruby (Chupp) ’73 Graber and Joyce Huber entered retirement.

Ruby Graber – 25 years

“Retirement brings such mixed feelings for me,” said Graber, who taught nursing students at Hesston for 25 years. “I get to stay home with my grandson now and I know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, but teaching and watching students develop into holistic caregivers has been such a meaningful thing.”

Graber came to Hesston after working in critical care in a hospital. Despite feeling some burn out with her job, she turned down Director of Nursing Bonnie (Kauffman) Ac65, ’67 Sowers’ invitation to teach at Hesston twice before finally accepting.

“Nursing is my ministry,” said Graber. “God led me to Hesston so I could teach others that same ministry to patients.”

To her students and colleagues, Graber is a model of gentle care and generosity.

“What I learned from Ruby is how to care for a patient, demonstrating God’s love and kindness to all,” said Heather (Kyburz) ’00 Hosford, a former student of Graber’s who served alongside her as instructor for the past two years. “She consistently modeled this in her teaching, going the extra mile for her students.”

Joyce Huber – 41 years

As a new nurse, Huber never intended to teach, but she was offered a one semester contract at Hesston College for the spring of 1973 and then decided to stay for the next 41 years.

“Teaching has been a way for me to be creative in helping people learn,” said Huber. “It’s been fun, and now I get to find new ways to express my creativity.”

Students and colleagues alike appreciated her clever memory aids, dedication to professionalism and her care for others beyond the classroom.

“We were not spoon-fed, but Joyce never left us hanging without guidance,” said Linda Miller ’16 (Hutchinson, Kan.). “She forced us to increase our knowledge and clinical applications by taking a personal responsibility in the learning process.”