When Lois E. Wolfgang joined the faculty of Trevecca’s Physician Assistant (PA) program, the program, now the oldest in the state, was just two years old.
Wolfgang, who devoted more than 30 years to the program and remained committed to it long after her retirement, passed away on May 21. She was 77.
Over the course of her three decades at Trevecca, Wolfgang filled a number of roles within the PA faculty, from admissions to clinical coordinator. PA students complete a total of eight clinical rotations across a variety of specialties, and Wolfgang played a vital role in helping to develop relationships with practicing PAs willing to train students.
Katrina Gill, admissions director for the PA program, first got to know Wolfgang as a faculty member. Wolfgang taught the Intro to the Profession course when Gill was a student in Trevecca’s PA program.
Gill, who graduated from the program in 2001, later returned to Trevecca, eventually taking over the clinical placement role from Wolfgang.
“She passed down years of history in developing relationships with our clinical preceptors, many of which we still use today,” Gill recalled. “She was passionate, loyal and committed to Trevecca.”
Karen Frye, a professor in Trevecca’s PA program, agreed.
“She did a great job getting student placements and finding preceptors,” Frye said. “She didn’t have it all on paper. So much of it she just remembered in her head.”
Wolfgang’s long Trevecca career also allowed her to see more than one student become a fellow faculty member.
“She worked tirelessly for our program,” said Tasha Adams, associate professor. “As a student, you knew that she cared about you and would go out of her way to help you in any way she could. I am not only thankful to have been one of her students, but also to have been on staff with her for a few years.”
Wolfgang’s legacy, current PA faculty members say, is the continued strength of the program she helped to build.
“She was a mainstay of the program for so long,” Gill said. “She was extremely loyal to Trevecca and very passionate about educating PAs. She saw this program start from nothing and always remained invested.”
The University awarded Wolfgang emeritus status upon her retirement in 2008, naming her associate professor emeritus of allied health.
She is survived by her husband, Robert; children Bradley and Amy; siblings Darlene (Larry) Mefford and Joseph (Hope) Taylor; and several nieces and nephews. Wolfgang was preceded in death by her parents, J.R. and Esther Taylor.
The family will receive visitors from 9-11 a.m. on June 7 at Trevecca Community Church, 335 Murfreesboro Road. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that gifts be made to the Vastbinder Scholarship Endowment Fund at Trevecca Nazarene University. Checks may be made payable to Trevecca with Wolfgang Memorial written on the memo line. Gifts may also be made online at www.trevecca.edu/give or by calling 615-248-1451.