February 2, 2001

Ruth King Scoville Chair in Medicine established

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Ruth King Scoville

Ruth King Scoville Chair in Medicine established

A chair has been established in the Department of Medicine for Ruth King Scoville, widow of long-time VUMC faculty member Dr. Addison B. Scoville Jr. Mrs. Scoville, known as Skeeter to her friends and family, was a major contributor to his dedication to the university.

"This is a tremendous thrill and honor for me," she said. "My love and respect for Vanderbilt University Medical School and Hospital go back to the days when the buildings were located on the south campus.

"My father, who came to Vanderbilt in 1920, had his office there until the new building was completed at the present location. What a joy it has been in the following years to see the amazing expansion of these facilities."

Dr. Scoville was renowned for his decades of dedication to the treatment of diabetes and for his considerable and enduring contributions to Vanderbilt's clinical, educational and research missions. Dr. Eric Neilson, Chairman of the Department of Medicine said, "It is our intent to use the Ruth King Chair to support a distinguished faculty recruitment to the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism."

The Scovilles married in 1941 and, according to her, their ties to VUMC grew stronger. "My husband was intensely interested in research being done, in new appointments and all aspects of growth in this great institution, and he shared his interest with me," she said. "When he was asked to serve on the committee for the selection of Justin Potter scholars, he asked me to help him, and I was only too happy to become involved. This meant entertaining the students as well as studying carefully their qualifications and background.

"I enjoyed the opportunity of meeting so many outstanding young men and women," she said. "We both followed with great interest the progress of the scholars as their careers progressed. I was so fortunate to have this opportunity."

The purpose of the four-year scholarship program, which ran from 1964 to 1994, was to attract outstanding students to medical school, students who were proven leaders. The scholarships were established by the Justin and Valere

Potter Foundation.

"Addison Scoville has through his efforts influenced the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, the hospital, and medical center," said Dr. John E. Chapman, dean of the School of Medicine. "He and Skeeter did the work of the University as a joy and as a commitment. Dr. Scoville was a substantial and important contributor to the many programs in the School of Medicine over many years," Chapman added.

Addison Scoville began his career at Vanderbilt in 1939 as a resident and, upon receiving the National Research Council

Fellowship, became an instructor in Pathology in 1942. He served on the board and as president of the American Diabetes Association. He was chairman of both the Metro Board of Health and the board of directors of the Nashville Academy of Medicine. He also served on the board of the Nashville chapter of the American Cancer Society.

The American Diabetes Association also established the Scoville Award in his name. Other medical honors received by Dr. Scoville during his long and illustrious career included being named a National Research Fellow in Virus Diseases and a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and receiving the Banting Medal from the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. and Mrs. Scoville have two sons, Addison B. Scoville III and Charles K. Scoville, and five grandchildren. She is interested in genealogy and has just completed a book about her family background. She also enjoys playing bridge and golf.