Divisions >> Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery >> Otolaryngology Surgery Update e-newsletter >> March 2015 Issue >> Alumni News
Personal Reflections on the Celebration of the Charles N Ford Professorship
By Charles N. Ford, MD, Professor Emeritus
For a remarkable three days in October, we gathered at the new Edgewater Hotel with friends, alumni, colleagues and supporters to celebrate our University of Wisconsin Otolaryngology program and recognize each individual’s contribution to the Charles N Ford Professorship — an endowment that will help assure our program’s future. Festivities began Thursday afternoon with a CME program featuring lectures and interactive discussions by some of our younger faculty: Tony Kille on post-T&A pain management, Dave Upton on non-surgical OSA management, Sam Gubbels on our Cochlea Implant program, and Aaron Weiland on HPV-related oropharyngeal SCCA and Transoral Robotic Surgery. Skillfully orchestrated by Delight Hensler with UWF support, events ran seamlessly through a Saturday morning tailgate party and Wisconsin football victory over Illinois. Friday was a most memorable day. It was one of those colorful idyllic fall days in Wisconsin, perfect for a walk in the woods. Happily, most of us stayed out of the woods and on the well-manicured fairways as we navigated around the Maple Bluff Country Club golf course. Evening events at the Edgewater kicked off with legendary jazz musician, composer, historian — and good friend — Ben Sidran leading a talented ensemble during a cocktail reception. We then moved on to a formal banquet in the Statehouse Restaurant overlooking Lake Mendota.
Reflecting on the entire occasion, one of the great joys was just being with so many friends, colleagues, alumni and others integral to the evolution of our UW program. I was especially grateful to have had the opportunity of recognizing special guests honored for their unique roles in my professional career. The banquet provided an ideal venue for me to publicly express my appreciation. Expanding on a theme imbedded in a recent commencement address (Joyce Didonato at Julliard 2014: “It’s not about you”) I thanked each honoree for their unique contributions to my career and to our UW Otolaryngology program:
It was a special treat to introduce Sharon and members of our extended family. I commented on the history of our program and the roles played by former Chairs Maxine Bennett and Jim Brandenburg. Analogous to the stages of a rocket, it seems every Chair brings a new energy. I had the opportunity to do so at a pivotal time in our history. Our current Chair Tim McCulloch is a visionary leader who is proving to be a strong catalyst for the growth of our clinical and academic program. As of this writing, the Dean has just named Timothy McCulloch “The Charles N Ford Professor,” so as Chair he can be assured of continued support for those critical research and clinical programs that exemplify our excellence.
I expressed my gratitude to all of those in attendance, and recognized others who contributed to this important endowment, singling out two individuals — David Bradley and Bernard Leviton — who have been major supporters of our laryngology/voice research program for many years. On a most personal level, I was profoundly moved by the entire event. At some point, standing on the podium looking out at the familiar faces of family, colleagues, residents, alumni and leaders so responsible for my successfully navigating critical points in my career, it all sank in. I remain very grateful.
About the Professorship
In as little as six months, the Charles N. Ford Professorship in Otolaryngology went from concept to fruition. Sixty-eight donors contributed more than $1 million to honor Dr. Ford and his distinguished career. The yearly income from the endowment will be used to support otolaryngology research, providing the Division of Otolaryngology with a flexible option to fund projects. The Division will continue to raise money for the Ford Professorship in order to grow the fund and provide more annual resources for the Division.
Chancellor Blank named Timothy McCulloch the Charles N. Ford Professor effective January 1, 2015. This is a five-year renewable appointment. These funds will assist with future divisional program development including research projects.