The 2014 award  recipients are (from left): Doctors Robert L. Thurer, D’67, Med’68; John M. Moran, D’54, Med’55; James C. Strickler, D’50, Med’51; Samuel L. Katz, D’48, Med’50; and W. Hardy Hendren III, D’47, Med’50.  (Photo by Jon Fox)

Recognize Service – Celebrate Achievement:
2014 Alumni Awards Program
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Distinguished Alumni Honored with the Geisel School’s Inaugural Awards

The Alumni Council of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth honored five accomplished alumni in its first annual achievement awards celebration on Friday, October 17, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Doctors W. Hardy Hendren III, D’47, Med’50, Samuel L. Katz, D’48, Med’50, and James C. Strickler, D’50, Med’51 were recognized for outstanding career achievements. Doctors John M. Moran, D’54, Med’55, and Robert L. Thurer, D’67, Med’68 were honored for extraordinary service to the medical school.

Dr. Hendren was recognized as the pioneer in pediatric surgery and urology who developed innovative and ground-breaking reconstruction techniques for children born with critical and life-threatening urogenital abnormalities. “You have revolutionized the field and vastly improved the care, quality of life, and longevity for patients,” said Alumni Council member Barry Smith, MD, D’59, Med ’60, who presented and read from Dr. Hendren’s citation. “These achievements, as well as your scholarship, teaching, and mentoring of surgeons in pediatric surgery and pediatric urology, have contributed immeasurably to the quality of scientific research and the surgical standards and practices in these fields.”

Doctor Katz was honored for a career devoted to improving public health as researcher, pediatric doctor, educator, and policymaker.  Former colleague John Modlin, MD, cited Dr. Katz’s work in developing the attenuated measles vaccination and promoting its global distribution, which helped to save millions of lives. “You have taught and inspired generations of medical students, helped to establish public health standards, practices, and policies in your fields,” Dr. Modlin said, “and engaged in international outreach to promote the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of vaccination to the public.”

Former Dean of Dartmouth Medical School James Strickler was recognized for his pivotal leadership in introducing an innovative clinical curriculum and the successful Brown-Dartmouth Program. Dr. Strickler positioned the school for growth by recruiting world-class faculty, strengthening its financial foundation, and creating its Board of Overseers and Office of Alumni Relations.

Later in his career, Dr. Stricker established the International Rescue Committee’s first health unit to provide medical care to refugees and conflict-affected peoples, which now serves Africa, Asia, and Europe. Presenter Karen Heim, MD, ’68, a student under Dean Strickler, also commended his work in initiating the Dartmouth-Kosovo Project, which has aided thousands of refugees after the Balkan wars and assisted in rebuilding the medical school and hospital in Kosovo.

Dr. John M. Moran, who led a distinguished 40-year career in the practice and teaching of medicine as a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery, was honored for three decades of volunteer service to the medical school. Presenter and Alumni Council colleague Pearl O’Rourke, MD, Med ’73, cited Dr. Moran’s service as president of the Alumni Council, chair of the Fund for Dartmouth Medical School, and member of Dean’s Council and the Board of Overseers. In honor of his friend and classmate, Dr. Moran also spearheaded the establishment of the O. Ross McIntyre Endowed Professor in Oncology, and he served in leadership roles in reunion and campaign planning and as agent and secretary for his class.

The Outstanding Service Award was also presented to Dr. Robert L. Thurer, an accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon, clinical educator, and recognized expert in several fields of surgery. Dr. Thurer served in several leadership roles for the Alumni Council, including as its president, as a representative on the Dartmouth College Alumni Council, and as a member of the Board of Overseers. Awards Committee member Thomas J. Kesman, MD, Med ’68,  noted that Dr. Thurer’s service included hosting reunion class activities, serving as class agent, and contributing professional expertise to Geisel’s Department of Surgery, Surgical Interest Group, and Office of the Dean.

The celebration concluded with a panel discussion with the award recipients – moderated by Aristotle J. Damianos, MD, D’84, Med’88, president of the Alumni Council – about their lives and careers in medicine.

To recommend nominees for the 2015 Alumni Awards, visit

Nominations will be accepted through April 22, 2015.