ne thing became clear during Alumni Weekend 2016 at the UF College of Medicine: The passing of time enhances the memories created on this campus.
This year’s Alumni Weekend featured two days of events, held Oct. 14-15 in the George T. Harrell, MD, Medical Education Building, and plenty of reminiscing.
Alfred W.H. Stanley Jr., MD ’66, sat on a bench outside the Harrell Medical Education Building and recalled with great clarity how it felt to ride in Dr. Robert Cade’s old, gray Studebaker in 1966. The UF nephrology professor took Stanley and classmate Alan Bartel, MD ’66, back and forth to Jacksonville for their senior rotations. One evening, as they stopped at the usual pub halfway between Gainesville and the coast, Cade presented the pair with a proposition:“He said, ‘You know, the Gators just run out of gas in the second half,’” Stanley said. “He told us, ‘I want to do an experiment, and I want you to help me.’”
A few days later, Stanley and Bartel were running laps at Florida Field, plastic bags strapped to their elbows to collect and measure the sweat they lost. Cade ran some tests and then approached the Gator football team for five more test subjects. The rest is history.
Stanley remembers getting a choice of payment for his participation in the study: either $100 (a tidy sum in 1966) or 1 percent of the future Gatorade stock. He’ll never forgive himself for choosing the former. Bartel, who could not attend this year’s reunion due to a family emergency, said he and Stanley had no idea of the national legacy they helped birth.
“We did it because it sounded cool and interesting,” he said. “Anything we could do to make the Florida team play better.”
While not all stories during Alumni Weekend had the historical impact of Stanley’s and Bartel’s, they were just as meaningful to those who recalled them. In addition to catching up with former classmates, Alumni Weekend featured a research roundtable on Friday, at which three UF faculty physician-scientists discussed their latest findings. It also included a student-alumni speed-networking session and a family-friendly tailgate before the UF-Missouri football game on Saturday, complete with barbecue from 4 Rivers Smokehouse, face painting and a photo booth.
This story originally ran in the Winter 2017 issue of the Doctor Gator newsletter.