James Cox

James Cox

The Franklin J. Mulvana Nursing Scholarship was created by Jefferson Community College Business Professor James H. Cox as a tribute to his best friend, the late Franklin J. Mulvana, his wife, Barbara, and their two children, Megan and Kevin. In a December 1989 letter to the Watertown Daily Times, Mr. Cox wrote that Mr. Mulvana’s death was ‘totally unexpected and a great loss to his family, friends and the nursing profession.’ Mr. Mulvana died of a heart attack at 43.

This scholarship is awarded to a returning male student who is enrolled in the nursing program at Jefferson Community College and who plans to receive an associate in applied science degree. It was established in 1989.

Franklin J. Mulvana was born in Normanskill, New York, on October 16, 1945. He graduated from General Brown High School, Dexter, New York, in 1963. Mr. Mulvana’s interest in nursing began at General Brown, where he joined a program called ‘Future Nurses.’ Although the profession was historically woman-oriented, he didn’t allow this to deter his interest in helping people. ‘He had the gentlest nature of anyone I have ever known,’ said his wife.

Mr. Mulvana joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War in the late 1960’s. His desire to become a nurse was strengthened when he was stationed in Ramstein, West Germany, a base which served as a medical evacuation station — a place where on-the-job training in bedside manners and surgical procedures was routine. In West Germany, Mr. Mulvana watched soldier after soldier bear mental and physical battlefield scars reflected in their ‘thousand mile stare.’

After the war, Mr. Mulvana left the Air Force, which put an end to his military career but began his nursing career. In his letter to The Times, Mr. Cox wrote: ‘As a member of JCC’s first nursing class , Frank was the top student. He earned an ‘A’ in all the nursing courses and graduated with a 3.77 GPA. He also worked part time at both Watertown hospitals while attending JCC.’

After graduating from JCC in 1971, he worked for seven years as a public health nurse for Onondaga County, New York, provided for his new family and attended Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, attaining a bachelor of science degree in 1977. His wife stated ‘he loved being a public health nurse making house-calls because he loved being able to give his patients one-on-one attention.’

For 10 years, until his death, he worked for Dr. Sherry Rogers in Syracuse.

To demonstrate his friend’s sense of humor, Mr. Cox told the following story:

‘Every time Frank would go out to dinner with his wife and a group of his friends, his meal would arrive at the table with some kind of garnish, usually a parsley, on it. Invariably, he’d look at it, and say what the heck is that doing here,’ pick it up, and throw it over his shoulder.’

On the day of Frank’s funeral, the priest, to everyone’s surprise, delivered the eulogy by saying:

‘Frank is now sitting at the table of life, and there is one thing on which you can count: As his dinner plate arrives with some decorative parsley lying on it, he’ll give it one quick glance, and say, what the heck is that doing here,’ and throw it over his shoulder.’

To this day, no one knows how the priest found out that Frank always threw his parsley over his shoulder.

Franklin J. Mulvana died October 1, 1989.

The Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to JCC Professor James Cox for providing this scholarship.