May 14, 1999

Nine honored with Emeritus titles

Emeritime '99

VUMC Faculty members who are retiring this year will be honored for their years of service to the medical center by having the title Emeritus or Emerita bestowed upon them at the May 14 Commencement ceremony. They are:

Virginia D. Abernethy, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry – Abernethy earned her Ph.D. degree at Harvard University. In 1975, she joined the Department of Psychiatry as assistant professor of Psychiatry (anthropology). She was promoted to associate professor in 1976 and professor in 1980.

Dr. Harvey W. Bender Jr., Professor of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery – Bender received his M.D. degree with high honors from Baylor University College of Medicine in 1959. In 1971, Bender came to Vanderbilt as a professor and the chairman of the Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery. Bender initiated the residency training program in cardiac and thoracic surgery at Vanderbilt.

Dr. M. Lawrence Berman, Professor of Anesthesiology – Berman received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Washington in 1956. In 1964, he received his M.D. degree from the University of North Carolina. Berman began his career at Vanderbilt in 1974 as a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, with a secondary appointment as an associate professor of Pharmacology.

Dr. Benjamin F. Byrd Jr., Clinical Professor of Surgery – Byrd is a son of Nashville and Vanderbilt, graduating from the School of Medicine in 1941. Byrd has taught Vanderbilt medical students and surgical residents for over 40 years. He served as chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Vanderbilt Cancer Center in 1993.

Dr. John J. Franks, Professor of Anesthesiology – Franks received his M.D. degree from the University of Colorado in 1954. In 1964, he became involved with Thomas Starzl's landmark liver transplantation research There. After Starzl left Colorado, Franks came to Vanderbilt to train in anesthesiology, with the aim of providing anesthesia support for a hepatic transplantation program.

Dr. H. David Hall, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Hall received his D.M.D. degree from Harvard University in 1957 and his M.D. degree in 1967. In 1968 he came to Vanderbilt as a professor and the chairman of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He retired as chairman in June 1996.

Dr. Roscoe R. Robinson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Emeritus – "Ike" Robinson served from 1981 to 1997 as a professor of medicine and as vice chancellor for Health Affairs, the chief executive and academic officer for all of Vanderbilt's programs in health. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Robinson trained in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Dr. William S. Stoney, Professor of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery – Stoney obtained his M.D. degree from Vanderbilt in 1954. He joined forces with the university's Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, where Harvey Bender was developing Vanderbilt's first residency in cardiothoracic surgery in the early 1970s.

Dr. John B. Thomison, Clinical Professor of Pathology – Thomison received his M.D. degree in 1944. He was appointed to the Vanderbilt faculty in 1949 as an assistant professor in Pathology and held the rank of associate professor of Pathology from 1961 until his departure from the primary faculty in 1966. He remained affiliated with Vanderbilt as associate clinical professor of Pathology.

Dr. John S. Warner, Professor of Neurology – Warner is a 1956 graduate of Vanderbilt's School of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 1965. In 1987, Warner closed his practice and became a full-time member of the Vanderbilt Neurology faculty and has served for 12 years without compensation, teaching, conducting research and serving the medical center.