Oct. 27, 2017 — Nine faculty members within the UF Health Academic Health Center were recognized for receiving endowed professorships or chairs during the sixth annual Celebrating Distinction ceremony held Thursday afternoon at the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. To commemorate the appointments, each faculty member received a chair made of solid maple hardwood featuring engraved gold nameplates.
In his opening remarks, UF President Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., spoke about the important partnership forged between a benefactor and an appointed faculty member. He noted the university’s newly launched “Go Greater” fundraising campaign aims to create 200 professorships over the next few years.
“In my position, I’m lucky in that I get to hear stories from both sides of the equation,” Fuchs said. “For the benefactors, these stories are often deeply personal, of both tragedy and hope. For the faculty receiving these chairs, their stories are about gaining the freedom to fully pursue their lives’ work.”
Appointment to a professorship or chair is one of the highest honors a college can bestow on its faculty, and it’s reserved for those with national or international acclaim. Irene Malaty, M.D., director of the UF Health Tourette Association of American Center of Excellence and principal investigator for the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at UF, was awarded the Barbara Padgett Dein Professorship in Parkinson’s. The professorship was established by Robert Dein, M.D. ’71, to honor his wife, who passed away from complications due to long-term Parkinson’s disease last year. Dein said Malaty is a wonderful and accomplished talent.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do this for the UF College of Medicine,” he said. “Having met Dr. Malaty multiple times, I know they have the right person.”
Malaty said receiving the professorship is an honor.
“It’s moving and inspiring to see people who’ve been through their struggles really make moves to help people undergoing the same journey with Parkinson’s,” she said. “This is a really important partnership. We’re in this fight together.”
Fuchs closed Thursday’s ceremony by congratulating the faculty members on their accomplishments, both past and future.
“First, we’re celebrating your accomplishments and your career thus far. But we’re also celebrating the amazing achievements you’ll make in the future here at UF,” he said.
The following UF Health faculty members received endowed professorships or chair appointments at the 2017 Celebrating Distinction ceremony: