Sister. Berenice Beck, Ph.D., a member of the Order of St. Francis, was named the first dean of the college in 1936. After receiving the first doctorate in nursing education awarded by Catholic University of America, she directed St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing. She advocated for the advancement of nursing research and collegiate education for nurses. She transformed Marquette's diploma program into a bachelor of science in nursing program.
Sister Berenice served as board member of the American Nurses Association and chaired the committee that developed the first ANA code of ethics: A Code for Professional Nurses. She served on the ethics of nursing committee of the International Council of Nurses and was president of the Wisconsin League for Nurses and a board member of the American Journal of Nursing Company. In 1986, she was inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame.