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Loyalty in Action

John Moran MED '55

By Nancy Shohet West

John Moran D '54, MED '55 had a firsthand look at the importance of supporting one's school earlier than most alumni do. In fact, he wasn't even an alumnus yet. It was spring of his final year at Dartmouth Medical School (now Geisel School of Medicine) when he and his fellow students learned the school was in danger of shutting down. This close call stimulated Moran and many of his classmates to lend support to the school in any way they could—and the realization of his own responsibility in this endeavor never left him.

Not only does Moran contribute every year to the annual fund, he has volunteered as class agent, class secretary, member and first president of the Alumni Council, and member of the former Dean's Council. He also spearheaded the effort to fund the O. Ross McIntyre, MD, Endowed Professorship, helping raise $500,000 toward the $2.5 million endowment from a network of friends and alumni. Steve Gillis, PhD '78, one of McIntyre's trainees, contributed the lead gift.

Moran comments, "Best friend—and best man—Ross McIntyre and our wives raised our families together and stayed very close over the years. Ross was a hematologist-oncologist and co-founder of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and its director from 1974 to 1992. Having spent my 40-year surgical career entirely in the university setting, I recognized that the best way to honor such an outstanding physician and researcher with such deep roots at the medical school would be to establish an endowed professorship."

Moran is also active in fundraising for the Rolf C. Syvertsen Memorial Fund, which provides scholarship support to many medical students in need of financial assistance, and honors six outstanding students as Syvertsen Scholars annually.

Be loyal. Help support your school just as you would your family. Give back with both your financial and your moral support.

Moran feels strongly about the importance of student support through scholarships. As a longtime contributor to the Syvertsen Fund, he notes, "The expense of a medical education today is much too high. Any scholarships that can be created to help students are important both as a morale booster and financial assistance."

But Moran believes there's never been a better time to enter the medical field. "When I graduated from medical school, traditional medicine and surgery were on a slowly improving trajectory, but few could imagine what the future held, with innovations such as diagnosis and treatment at the molecular level, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, and robotic surgery. And it's common these days for students to combine their medical curriculum with a second one in business or engineering, something unheard of in our day."

Moran says it's an important responsibility of alumni to help their alma mater sustain its mission. "It's vital to keep the pressure on for high standards in education. Geisel is an outstanding institution. The message I want to pass on to its alumni, both current and future, is this: Be loyal. Help support your school just as you would your family, through its ups and downs. Recognize its value in getting your career started in a great profession, and give back with both your financial and your moral support."

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College