issue Winter 2022

"We Had That Bond"

Every class that emerges from RFU has its own examples of strong connections to its alma mater, but the Chicago Medical School (CMS) Class of 1956 has set particularly high standards in generosity, support and leadership over the past seven decades.

The class roster includes a former university chancellor, the late Marshall A. Falk, MD, and a retired university trustee, Matthew N. Harris, MD. They are joined by Harold Levine, MD, in being honored as recipients of the CMS Distinguished Alumni Award. Two campus areas feature the family names of class members — the Morningstar Interprofessional Education Center after William J. and Elizabeth L. Morningstar in recognition of a $4.4 million gift from the estate of George W. Morningstar, MD, and the Innovation and Research Park’s Harris Collaboration Hub, named for Frances and Dr. Matthew Harris.

Collectively, over its lifetime, the Class of 1956 has given more than $6.6 million to support CMS and RFU, and its members have more than $1 million in named commitments through planned gifts.

We had a wonderful, close, embracing class. I was very fortunate to be a part of it.

Asked what formed the bond they feel to CMS, members of the class agreed that the school provided a welcoming home away from home.

“We have very happy memories of 710 S. Wolcott,” said Howard N. Rose, MD, recalling the school’s ancestral location in Chicago. “We had a wonderful, close, embracing class. I was very fortunate to be a part of it.”

In 2008, Dr. Rose announced a planned gift commitment to establish the Howard N. Rose, MD Ophthalmology Scholarship Award Fund, which will perpetually generate an annual award for a rising M4 at CMS interested in pursuing ophthalmology.

Paul J. Kiell, MD, said realities facing their generation also brought them closer, noting that “there was the Korean War going on, (and) it was a time when it was very hard to get into medical school. We had that bond. … We were so happy to be there, so happy to have been accepted.”

Jesse Gochman, MD, said he was accepted by CMS after being an alternate at two other schools, and he was advised to take the sure bet.

“And so I went to CMS, and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Dr. Gochman said. “It was a life-changing experience that I’ve always been proud of.”

Dr. Harris seemed to speak for his classmates when he said that “to this day, I can practically name every single person in the class.”

“I launched a very, very successful and satisfying career,” he added, “and there’s no question that it all started at CMS, and I never forgot it.”