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  September 7, 2004

Two Health Center Facilities
Named For Former Educators

The spirit of three outstanding former Health Center educators will silently guide first- and second-year medical and dental students attending lectures or participating in problem-based learning classes in facilities that now bear the educators' names.

Image: Dr. Robert Massey speaks at the auditorium dedication.

Dr. Robert Massey, a former dean of the School of Medicine, speaks at the dedication of the auditorium at the Health Center August 23. The facility will be known as the Robert U. Massey M.D. Auditorium.
Photo by Peter Morenus

On Aug. 23, the Health Center dedicated an auditorium to the third dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Massey, and an electronic classroom to a former professor of surgery, Dr. James Foster.

The auditorium is now named the Robert U. Massey M.D. Auditorium. The electronic classroom - a facility wired for interactive learning - will be known as the James H. Foster M.D. Memorial Learning Center.

The two newly named facilities join the Patterson Auditorium, named in 2002 after Dr. John Patterson, the Health Center's second dean of medicine and its first executive director.

Dr. Massey arrived at the Health Center in 1968 and became dean in 1971. In 1985 he stepped down to teach and write and lecture "and to be a role model for all of us in academic medicine," said Dr. Peter Deckers, dean of the School of Medicine and the Health Center's executive vice president, adding that dedicating the auditorium to Massey was long-overdue.

"I'm in very good company here," Massey said. "The Lyman Maynard Stowe Library is named after the first dean of medicine, and the Patterson Auditorium is named after the second dean of medicine and the first executive director, in a place where we all huddled together in the early days of this academic setting."

The library and the two auditoria are the commanding features of the Health Center's Academic Entrance. The Foster Learning Center is one floor above the Academic Entrance.

During the dedication of the Foster Center, Deckers said Foster was "a giant" in American surgery. "To have one of the most used classrooms in our medical school named after him is entirely appropriate," he said.

The dedication preceded the Health Center's Convocation, which included an address by Dr. Sherwin Nuland of the Yale School of Medicine, author of the best-selling book, How We Die, a reflection on the modern way of death.