JONATHAN BARTELS: Dorrie came to my 6:00 AM meditation. God, and we are the longest sitting sangha, I think, at UVA. It's been 10 years. We were running our own gig. And it's 6:00 AM. And I used to think she's just coming to be nice to me. I think she's just being nice. And I realized that it means as much to her as it does to us to be there, to sit, to meditate at 6:00 AM every day. And it's just really, really cool because she's real.

SCOTT SYVERUD: The clinics we did at Wise, the RAM clinics, were big events, 5,000 people on the weekend getting free care. Various leaders in the health system would come down to visit their employees, who were volunteering there, and also show the flag, but also be around when the political figures were around. So I got used to having health system leaders show up during the event for our brief walk through with the governor and so forth. Dorrie-- a prominent figure as dean of the nursing school, she chose a different route.

She signed up as a volunteer with her husband, showed up the day before, got up at 4:00 in the morning, worked the triage line right up front, where hundreds of people were lined waiting to come to care. Barry worked registration. And they stayed throughout the whole event but worked throughout the whole event side by side with the nurses and the physicians and all the staff that volunteered there and without making a big to do of it. It wasn't for show. It's just who she is.

JANIE HEATH: I can't help but to think about my first time to really experience that with you, that moment of 9/11 at Georgetown University, with my husband at the Pentagon and not knowing if my husband was dead or alive. And you were the first one there to help support me and to work through the longest day of my life. At the same time, who would have ever known that you had family? You had family there that right there on the forefront of 9/11 and what was happening in New York City, with your own brother as a battalion commander in the New York Fire Department. So I'll never, ever forget that resilience that you had in you to help others.

PAM CIPRIANO: The work in compassionate care is such synergy with what nurses do every day for their patients, for their families, but not necessarily really taking the time to focus on themselves. And as I used to joke with her, things like yoga, that's just not my thing. [LAUGHS] On the other hand, I recognize the value and how important it can be to other people. So I believe that in many respects, the compassionate care initiatives brought people out of their shell.

DALLAS MICHELLE DUCAR: Very busy schedule that she has, she would still make time to sit me down next to her office just check in. So I felt extremely comfortable to come to her as one of the first people when I felt comfortable coming in. And I felt comfortable not only coming out, but transitioning while at the school of nursing, too. And she was one of those very first liaisons, one of those first confidants, one of those first people where I knew, no matter what I said, she would just greet me with laugh.

TAYLOR O'NEAL: First year, one of my first encounters that I had with Dean Fontaine was that she opened it up during move-in weekend to [INAUDIBLE] on the pavilion. And she offered cookies and lemonade. And she just made you feel right at home. And it just set the tone for everything that she does.

HANNAH CROSBY: She doesn't just value you as an employee and the strengths that you bring to your job or as a student that you bring to the classroom, she values you as a human being and as a person.

AMY BOITNOTT: Because people are always so amazed. Oh, you have MS, and you can still work, like it's an anomaly. But she's the reason that I can do what I do, that this place is not a big obstacle to get in and out of and to get to class. So she always comes up when people ask me, how do you do it? What do you attribute to your success? And I mention the way she's been so supportive.

LARRY SABATO: Well, I think people naturally know who is open to discussing their problems and who wants to help them genuinely and who just wants to float along to the next event. And there are plenty of both types here, as there are everywhere. She's in the good category.


ALL: Dear Dorrie--

SCOTT SYVERUD: Dear Dorrie--

HANNAH CROSBY: Dear Dorrie--

JANIE HEATH: Dear Dorrie--

AMY BOITNOTT: Dear Dorrie--


PAM CIPRIANO: Dear Dorrie--

EMILY DRAKE: Dear Dorrie--

TAYLOR O'NEAL: Dear Dorrie--

LARRY SABATO: Dear Dorrie--

DIANE WASHINGTON: Dear Dean Fontaine--

SCOTT SYVERUD: There's a banner out front of the nursing school which talks about how we treat each other as care providers. And she takes that to heart and lives it every day.

EMILY DRAKE: I think that message about compassion and respect is going to live on. And I think that's something she made us famous for.

JANIE HEATH: 6 o'clock in the morning yoga was never part of me. But I do thank you, Dorrie, for helping to show me that being mindful and the importance of that doesn't necessarily just come with yoga and with meditation, but it does come with having full presence and just being open with the moment right in front of us.