Lily Gordon (M.N. ’56) began her professional education at UCLA, completing a bachelor’s degree in public health in 1945; she then went on to obtain a master’s in nursing in 1956 at the UCLA School of Nursing, which prepared her as a public health nurse. Her son, Jared Gordon, attended the graduation ceremony. “She was so proud of her achievement,” he says, “and I remember being so proud of her — she was one of a very few women receiving an advanced degree that day.”

Lily Gordon spent her entire career with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, beginning as a visiting public health nurse, transitioning to a clinic nurse and then to clinic nursing manager. She finished her career as the assistant director of nursing for the entire department, before retiring due to the after effects of her second bout with lymphosarcoma. After her retirement, Lily Gordon was involved with the foundation of the Hospice Program for cancer patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Her son, Jared, says that toward the end of her life, she became concerned with the problem of delivering health care to the elderly. She was disturbed that the older portion of the population was growing, but that arrangements for their health care seemed to be given a lower priority than was needed. For this reason, Lily Gordon made arrangements, through a bequest, for The Lily S. Gordon Endowment Scholarship Fund to be established upon her death.