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Memorial Service Gave Friends One Last Chance to Say Farewell to Beloved Teacher Larry Anderson

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

 An on-campus memorial service was held to honor Dr. Anderson.

A memorial service and reception was held on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, at Westminster Hall to honor Dr. Larry Anderson, longtime professor of anatomy & neurobiology. The School of Medicine lost a beloved teacher, mentor and friend when Dr. Anderson died unexpectedly at his home in May.

Faculty, staff and students past and present gathered at the service to share their memories of Dr. Anderson. A tribute video and a slideshow of Larry throughout his 30 years at the School of Medicine elicited both laughter and tears from the crowd.

Speakers included Michael Shipley, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology; E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Dean of the School of Medicine; Bruce Jarrell, MD, Executive Vice Dean; David Mallott, MD, Associate Dean for Medical Education; and Neda Homayounpour Frayha, MD, a 2006 graduate who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. The most heartfelt speech came from fourth-year student Nancy Lentz, who spoke of how Dr. Anderson -- who was infamous for reaching into the cadavers in his classroom with bare hands -- wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty when it came to his students either, lending a fatherly ear to their problems, whether personal or professional.

A Michigan native, Dr. Anderson received his PhD from Wayne State University, and came to the School of Medicine in 1976 as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in reproductive endocrinology in the Department of Physiology. Two years later, he taught a seminar in anatomy and shortly thereafter accepted a position in the Department of Anatomy. He taught anatomy and structure & development to freshmen students for 30 years.

For the past 10 years, Dr. Anderson served as course master for the “Human Structure & Development” course, and, as such, was the first faculty member students met when they entered medical school as freshmen, becoming not only an educator and mentor, but a friend and father figure as well. Dr. Anderson received countless awards and honors from his students and the university system, including being named the 2006 University of Maryland, Baltimore Teacher of the Year. He was also chair of the State Anatomy Board and a charter member of the Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 & Richard M. Susel, MD ’66 Academy of Educational Excellence.

Dr. Anderson taught anatomy to nearly 4,500 Maryland students – well over half of our living alumni.  A scholarship fund in his name has been established to support medical students at the School of Medicine. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship, please go to www.fundformedicine.org and click on the “Make a Gift” button on the left-hand side.

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 Westminster Hall was full of colleagues, friends and students past and present who had come to say a final farewell.

 Nancy Lentz, a fourth-year student, gave an especially memorable speech.

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