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The following post was originally published May 8 on franbecque.com, a blog where Fraternity/Sorority Historian Fran Becque, Ph.D., shares stories connecting the past to the present and future. Fran’s daily posts for Women’s History Month highlight impactful sorority women.

Born in Lindsay, Nebraska, on July 10, 1900. Nora Brodball (Brandenburg Johansen) studied at Nebraska Wesleyan University where she was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, a local sorority. In 1927, it became the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta. However, she was not on campus for the installation. She was deeply immersed in establishing herself as a doctor. 

She was one of a handful of women who graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1925. A year later, on July 6, 1926, she married Kenneth Brandenburg. Dr. Nora Brandenburg was her professional name and she went by it even after divorcing Mr. Brandenburg and marrying John V. Johansen in 1940. 

Brandenburg became a member of Alpha Gamma Delta in the summer of 1931 when a combination Founders’ Day and homecoming took place at Nebraska Wesleyan. From 1932-35, she served as National Treasurer of Nu Sigma Phi, a medical fraternity for women. 

In 1936, a Chicago newspaper told of a delicate operation to remove an object from the lung of a small child. Her specialty was eye, ear, nose and throat. She was a physician and surgeon at Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago as well as being a clinical instructor in the Department of Surgery at Rush Medical College.  She taught in Northwestern’s department of otolaryngology and from 1941 until the time of her death. 

Brandenburg was a member of many medical associations and there are mentions of her being active in the Alpha Gamma Delta alumnae organization. 

Brandenburg died in 1950 at the age of 50. 

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