August 14, 1998

Hollender remembered for fairness, dedication

Hollender remembered for fairness, dedication

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Dr. Marc Hollender

Dr. Marc H. Hollender, who from 1970 to 1983 was chairman of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's department of Psychiatry, died Sunday, August 9. He was 81.

"Dr. Hollender was a dedicated clinician, scientist, and teacher, and he was supremely concerned with the welfare of his patients, faculty, and students," said Dr. John E. Chapman, Dean of the School of Medicine.

"He was a man of enormous intellectual breadth. He was conversant with the principles of Freud, modern chemistry of psychiatry, and a devoted collector of Mark Twain."

Dr. Hollender's contributions to psychiatry were felt far beyond the walls of Vanderbilt, said his successor, Dr. Michael H. Ebert, professor and chair of Psychiatry.

"The Department of Psychiatry and the psychiatric community of Nashville are saddened bo learn of Dr. Hollender's death," Ebert said. "He was a major figure in the development of psychiatric and educational practices in Middle Tennessee. We will all miss his quiet, shcolarly approach to clinical problems."

"He was one of the fairest men I've ever known," said Dr. Warren W. Webb, professor of Psychiatry emeritus, who worked with Dr. Hollender for many years. "The result of that was that he was very easy to work with, and when you came to a resolution, he would inevitably say, 'Fair enough.' He was evenhanded. He heard what any faculty member had to say."

Dr. Hollender's leadership of his department and its faculty was also in the thoughts of Dr. James L. Nash, associate professor of Psychiatry.

"It was the idea that I would have him as my chairman that enticed me to come to Vanderbilt," Nash said. "He always took a great deal of interest in the lives of the faculty. I remember the personal touch and personal interest he showed in faculty members."

Dr. Charles Ford was a longtime Vanderbilt colleague of Dr. Hollender's who is now at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He said Dr. Hollender had exerted a tremendous influence on his life.

"There's rarely a day goes by that I don't think of Marc," Ford said. "My youngest son is named for Marc. There are so many things about Marc that have become part of my thinking that he's always there–a presence always with me."

Dr. Hollender was a native of Chicago. He attended Loyola University and Northwestern University and earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1941. He served an internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and a residency at the Illinois Neuropsychiatric Institute. He also graduated from the Institute for Psychoanalysis of Chicago in 1951.

Dr. Hollender told the story many times through the years that he went to medical school intending to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a noted ear, nose, and throat specialist. Instead, after his internship, Dr. Hollender was drawn to psychiatry while stationed as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Force Medical Corps at convalescent hospitals in Nashville and Plattsburgh, N.Y., where he treated aircrew members returning from combat in Europe.

Dr. Hollender's first academic position was clinical assistant at the University of Illinois College of Medicine department of Psychiatry in 1946. He rose to clinical instructor in 1948, assistant professor in 1950, and associate professor in 1953.

Dr. Hollender was appointed professor and chairman of the department of Psychiatry at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, where he served from 1956 to 1966, following that with a stint as professor and director of residency training at the University of Pennsylvania.

He returned to Nashville to accept the chairmanship of VUMC department of Psychiatry in 1970. During his years at Vanderbilt, he held many prominent posts within the field, including Fellow and President of the American College of Psychoanalysts, Director and President of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and president of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Hollender was the author of seven books, and made dozens of contributions to medical journals. His last book, Couch Time, Notes of a Psychoanalyst was published in 1993 and drew from a lifetime of personal and professional experiences.

Dr. Hollender was also known as an avid collector, most especially of Mark Twain editions. He traced his love of Twain to his readings of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in his childhood.

"He was a magnificent writer not only for his humor, but for the beauty of his words," Dr. Hollender once said.

He donated the bulk of his collection–more than 350 volumes–to Vanderbilt's Jean and Alexander Heard Library in 1980.

Survivors include his wife, Betty, daughter Mary Jo, son David, sister Edyth Geiger, four nieces and nephews, and two grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Jean and Alexander Heard Library or the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library.