Schmelliing had a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Cornell University, a master’s degree in community mental health nursing from the University of California at San Francisco, and Ph.D. in nursing from Texas Woman’s University.
Donations from Schmelling’s family and friends in the community support the Frances W. and Elizabeth Schmelling Nursing Scholarship for ECU nursing students.
After retiring from ECU in 2002, she died in 2003. She was married to Dr. Stephen Schmelling. They had two sons, Frederick, of Dallas, Texas, and Daniel of Arlington, Virginia.
Another Distinguished Former Faculty Award will be presented to Margaret ‘Peggy’ Nims, who began teaching at ECU in 1963. During her 27-year tenure in the English Department, she became a charter member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society and later co-sponsored it with Dr. John Densford. She was one of the first four faculty members to receive a Teaching Excellence Award.
Nims was president of the Oklahoma Council on the Hearing Impaired and taught composition to hearing-impaired students. She taught in the Upward Bound Program for three summers. She also served as president of the ECU Alumni Association for a year and was later active on several committees of that organization.
Nims graduated from Ardmore High School as valedictorian in 1942 and married her high school sweetheart, Fred W. ‘Bill’ Nims, Jr., and they were happily married for 68 years. She received a bachelor’s of arts degree in Education in English from ECU in 1963 and her master of teaching degree in 1964. She did post-graduate work at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma.
She did her student teaching at Ada High School and was hired the next semester to teach everything except English. A faculty member had died unexpectedly and she was required to teach his subjects in speech, drama, sociology, psychology, problems of American democracy and government. She then taught English Composition at Ada High School for the next three years.