THE J.E. WALLACE STERLING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: “THE MULESHOE”

In June 1953, President Sterling recommended to the Stanford University Board of Trustees that the medical school be moved from San Francisco to the campus. On September 12, 1956, Sterling and Peter C. Allen, director of Stanford’s News and Publications Service, were walking from the Quad across open fields to groundbreaking ceremonies for the new medical school. Sterling stumbled over what he thought was an old horseshoe, interpreting this occurrence as an “auspicious sign” for the new school. The horseshoe turned out to be a muleshoe, upon closer examination.

Years later, Gunther W. Nagel, MD ’21, a retired faculty surgeon and long-time student of Stanford lore, spotted the muleshoe in Allen’s office. Acting on his long-held belief that the medical school should recognize a distinguished alumnus, Nagel proposed to Clayton Rich, (Dean 1971-78) that the muleshoe symbolize that honor. In 1983, the SUMCAA Board of Governors conferred the first J.E. Wallace Sterling “Muleshoe” Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is presented annually to a Stanford University School of Medicine MD graduate in recognition of his or her exceptional lifetime achievements. For those who questioned the propriety of awarding a muleshoe rather than a horseshoe, Dr. Nagel was quick to point out that a mule is smarter and more reliable than a horse, and has a lot more kick.
 

Click here to view videos and photographs from last year's awards ceremony.

 

PAST STERLING AWARD RECIPIENTS

1983
Esther Clark, MD ’25

1984
Donald E. King, MD ’27
Carlton Mathewson Jr., MD ’27

1985
David Rytand, MD ’33

1987
Sherman Melinkoff, MD ’44

1988
David Wood, MD ’30

1989
Gunther Nagel, MD ’21
Wilbur Hurlbut, MD ’38

1990
Roy B. Cohn, MD ’33
Robert E. Tranquada, MD ’55

1991
Alvin Cox Jr., MD ’31
Marcus A. Krupp, MD ’39

1992
Victor Richards, MD ’39
Sidney Raffel, MD ’43

1993
Cecil C. Cutting, MD ’35
William P. Creger, MD ’47

1995
Richard S. Lee, MD ’45
Peter V. Lee, MD ’47
Philip R. Lee, MD ’48
Hewlett Lee, MD ’49
Margo Lee Paulsen, MD ’53

1996
Allan Goodman, MD ’61

1998
Thomas N. Elmendorf, MD ’45
Jack McCleary, MD ’51
Robert D. Burnett, MD ’53
Eugene S. Ogrod II, MD ’70

1999
Donald Tsang, MD ’57
Norman Rich, MD ’60

2000
Irving Weissman, MD ’65

2001
F. William Balisdell, MD ’52

2003
William R. Brody, MD ’70, PhD ’72

2004
Ronald Levy, MD ’68

2005
William Northway, MD ’57

2006
Frances K. Conley, MD ’66, MS
Agustus A. White III, MD ’61, PhD

2007
Linda Hawes Clever, MD ’65
J.D. Northway, MD ’60

2008
Lawrence A Boxer, MD ’66, MS
Donald J. Prolo III, MD ’61, PhD

2009
Paul M. Ellwood, Jr. , MD ’53
Robert Schimke, MD ’58

2010
Ross D. Bright, MD ’58

2011
Diane E. Griffin, MD ’68, PhD ’70
John Griffin, MD ’68

2012
Fernando S. Mendoza, MD ’75, MPH
Jose I Sentos, MSc, MD ’75

2013
Linda C. Guidice, MD ’82, PhD
Ron G. Rosenfeld, MD ’73