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Farewell Reception Held to Honor Dr. Frank Calia, Who Is Retiring After 42 Years at the School of Medicine

Friday, January 06, 2012

 Dr. Calia contemplates all that is being said about him at his farewell reception.

A reception was held on January 5, 2012 to formally say farewell to Frank Calia, MD, MACP. More than 100 guests crowded the HSF II lobby to honor the man who has been teacher, mentor, colleague and doctor to so many during his 42 years here at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“During the past four decades, Frank has influenced thousands of lives and careers,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine. “There are no venues on our campus that can hold all of the people, directly and indirectly, whose lives Frank has touched. There is no corner of this institution without his imprint. Frank is among incredibly select company as a true pillar of our community.”

University of Maryland President Jay Perman, MD, credited Dr. Calia with helping bring him to the School of Medicine, where he was chair of the Department of Pediatrics from 1999-2004. After six years at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Dr. Perman returned to the University of Maryland.  “I have seen Frank from many perspectives, but one thing was thing was consistent. Frank was ‘the guy,’ “ Dr. Perman said. “He was the one I would go to and ask ‘What do you think I should do?’ His advice was always provided with humility. All of us in this room are smart people, but I think what’s rare is to be wise. Frank Calia is a wise man."

David Mallott, MD, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean of Medical Education, spoke on behalf of the many students whose lives Dr. Calia has touched. In his speech, he referenced the Jewish concept of “shem tov” (good name), an accolade used for those who are remembered because they make a name for themselves through their contributions to others.  “We your students at The University of Maryland School of Medicine, this place that you love, and those whom you have mentored, your colleagues and your friends, want to thank you for all that you are, all that you’ve done, and we will remember your good name, “ said Dr. Mallott.

It was almost an hour before Dr. Calia – who often seemed on the verge of tears while listening to all the speeches about him – was able to take the podium. “It has been a terrific career and experience, and I have loved every single minute of it,” he said of his time here at the School of Medicine. “The contention, the creativity, working with all of you was so wonderful, I can’t even translate it into words.”

Dr. Calia ended his speech by ceremoniously removing the Davidge Hall pin he was wearing and replacing it with a pin that had been given to him by his grandchildren after a summer trip to Disney World – Grumpy the dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. “As fate would have it, that’s what my nine grandchildren call me,” Dr. Calia explained. “Now I’m going to go and just be Grumpy.”

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 Dr. Myron Levine shows Dr. Calia and other colleagues a photo of Dr. Calia with students and residents in the 1970s.

 Carol Frankil from the Board of Visitors presents Dr. Calia and his wife Liz with a bottle of wine and handcrafted wine holder.

 Liz Calia is delighted by the gift Dean Reece presented to Dr. Calia from the School of Medicine -- an iPad.

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