50th anniversary event will include Dean's Medal awards

- By Susan Ipaktchian

Robert Glaser

Robert Glaser

Three men with strong ties to Stanford and the School of Medicine will be honored with the Dean's Medal - one of the school's highest honors - during a ceremony May 29.

The 2009 medal recipients are Robert Glaser, MD, professor emeritus of medicine; Lawrence Crowley, MD, professor emeritus of surgery; and Lorry Lokey, the Business Wire founder and philanthropist.

The medals will be awarded during an event at the Arrillaga Alumni Center with faculty, staff and donors that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the School of Medicine's move from San Francisco to the Palo Alto campus. Those invited to the event include members of the 1959 faculty as well as other emeritus faculty.

'The 50th anniversary offers us the opportunity to look back with gratitude at the farsighted leadership of our predecessors,' said medical school Dean Philip Pizzo, MD. 'Their decision to relocate the School of Medicine within Stanford University created a unique environment of interdisciplinary research and a passion for innovation and discovery that continues to define us today…. It is equally important to look ahead to new challenges that we may face in the next 50 years, and to develop plans to address them in order to excel.'

The recipients of this year's medals were selected to honor both the past and future of the school. The Dean's Medal is bestowed on individuals who have distinguished themselves in education, research, clinical practice, philanthropy, civic life or humanitarian activities and whose work is emblematic of the school's mission.

Glaser came to Stanford in 1965 as vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, after serving in various positions at the National Research Council, the University of Colorado and Harvard. While at Stanford, Glaser played an integral role in working with the city of Palo Alto to purchase the city's shares in the hospital, thereby making possible the development of Stanford Hospital & Clinics as part of the medical center. Glaser also completed a comprehensive master plan for the School of Medicine, as well as building and strengthening academic programs throughout the school.

In philanthropic efforts, Glaser worked with three medically oriented foundations: the Commonwealth Fund, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust. He has also served as a member of the board of trustees at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Packard Humanities Institute.

Lawrence Crowley

Lawrence Crowley

Crowley came to Stanford as professor of surgery in 1964, and left to become dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine from 1974 to 1978. He returned to Stanford as acting dean of the medical school and, in 1979, was appointed vice president for medical affairs.

One of his key contributions to the medical center involved the development of the new children's hospital. Crowley and philanthropist Lucile Packard both felt that the time had come to replace the Stanford Convalescent Home with a more advanced facility for children's care. Crowley also argued strongly to attach the children's hospital to the existing Stanford Hospital, rather than rebuilding on the original site of the convalescent home. During the last decade, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has grown to become one of the leading centers of excellence in pediatric medicine and surgery.

Lorry Lokey

Lorry Lokey

A native of Oregon, Lokey was editor of the Stanford Daily and graduated from Stanford in 1949 with a degree in journalism. He founded Business Wire, the international public relations wire service, in 1961 with $2,000 of his own money. In four months, it was turning a profit. Today, the San Francisco-based company distributes annually hundreds of thousands of news releases, and it bills more than $130 million a year. He sold it to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in 2006, when the wire service was valued at $500 million. He officially retired from the company in 2008.

A supporter of teaching and science, Lokey has donated roughly $300 million to various educational institutions, including Stanford, the University of Oregon, Mills College in Oakland, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel and his elementary school in Oregon.

His $75 million contribution to the School of Medicine - its largest single gift to date from an individual - has launched construction of the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, a new facility where scientists will probe the power of these elusive cells in treating conditions as diverse as cancer, stroke and diabetes. In making the commitment, Lokey said he believed 'stem cells are going to introduce an entirely new field of medicine for extending lives and improving the quality of life.'

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.