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The Henry Swan Papers

[University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Newsletter] pdf (185,734 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Newsletter]
Volume 1, Number 6.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (185,734 Bytes)
1956-08-10 (August 10, 1956)
Swan, Henry
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
The Cold Heart: Hypothermia and Cardiac Surgery, 1949-1962
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 20
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Series: University of Colorado, 1942-1984
Folder: Department of Surgery News Letters [Editorials by Henry Swan], 1956-1957
Department of Surgery News Letter
Vol. 1 No. 6
August 10, 1956
No. 6
What is a University?
The remarkable human organization which has come to be known as a university may well be man's most important cultural achievement. For one thing, it is certainly one of his most durable social or political structures. What nation, government, trade union, guild, choral society, or sporting league can point to such antique origins as, for example, the University of Paris or of Padua? Nations and their governments come and go; only the university and the church survive essentially unchanged. For another, the university is clearly a crucial component of civilization itself. It is both the major repository of man's heritage, and the laboratory which moulds his future. Never was this more true than in today's atomic era.
Yet to define what is a university has defied the world's best scholars. One can write a book describing its many facets, yet not state what it is. Perhaps this is because it embraces so many aspects of human endeavor bound loosely together and bearing a variety of relationships to other social organizations. In any event, the source of its income cannot be considered as an important determinant of the quality of a university, except insofar as economics is made a vehicle of oppression. Thus, governmentally supported universities have been the victims of political oppression, as, for example, in Germany in the '30's, and Argentina in the late '40's. They may suffer temporary eclipses as their freedom of thought is suppressed, but in the end, Heidelberg and Munich grow again, while der Fuehrer's charred residue remains untended. In this country, while freedom reigns, the state universities together with the privately endowed universities are mutually complementary, some of both types achieving greatness by virtue of their accomplishments in higher learning, irrespective of the source of their funds,
A frontier American who left South Dakota to become president of Kentucky University in the late 19th century had this to say, and his words still ring clear and strong. Listen to Frank LeRand McVey:
"What is a University?
A university is a place;
It is a spirit;
It is men of learning,
A collection of books,
Laboratories where work in science goes forward;
It is the source of teaching
Of the beauties of literature and the arts;
It is the center where ambitious youth gathers to learn;
It protects the traditions;
Honors the new and tests its value;
It believes in truth
Protests against error,
And leads men by reason
Rather than by force."
Thus a university is a social achievement worthy of a man's pride and effort. Its essential ingredient is freedom of thought. Its accomplishments in learning are the determining factors of its stature, not its source of income. Let us strive to add Colorado to the list of great universities.
Henry Swan, M.D.
Faculty News
The Department of Surgery has had some interesting foreign students during the past few months. These doctors are receiving training in this country under the auspices of The American College of Surgeons under the International Cooperation Administration. So far we have had four men here taking an active part in the laboratory, watching surgery and taking part in ward rounds. Two more men in this program will join us this fall. Listed below are the names of the doctors participating in this program and the dates of their visit.
Dr. Diego A. Figuera - March 15 - April 15, 1956 - Madrid, Spain.
Dr. Rene Kieny - May 2 - November 15, 1956 - Strasbourg, France
Dr. George Rossonis, June 1 - August 30, 1956 - Athens, Greece
Dr. Pedro Toni - June 1 - August 31, 1956 - Madrid, Spain
Dr. Francisco Martin, September 3 - September 14, 1956 - Madrid, Spain
Dr. Petter Dundas - January 1 - March 30, 1957 - Bergen, Norway
The Division of Otolaryngology is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Will P. Pirkey as Clinical Instructor, part time. Dr. Pirkey will undertake a heavy percentage of the clinic teaching, and will help give continuity to the resident training program. Dr. Jerry Smith will continue his affiliation with the school from Cheyenne, where he is opening his practice.
Dr. Swan will take a vacation this month in association with a consultant visit to the USAF Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory, Ladd Air Force Base, Fairbanks, Alaska. Dr. Watkins will serve as Acting Head of the Department from August 15th to September 23rd.
Division of Neurosurgery
Dr. Keasley Welch has been working hard to coordinate and improve patient care, teaching, and medical research at the Denver General, the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Colorado General Hospital. He has, in addition, found time during the past year to attend the meeting of the Association of Military Surgeons, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Neurological Society and Southern California Neurosurgical Society at Pebble Beach, California, where he presented a paper on "Acroparesthesia -- Surgical Treatment"; and the meetings in June of this year at Atlantic City of the American Electroencephalographic Society, the American Association of Neuropathologists and American Neurological Association. These latter meetings were likewise attended by Dr. William T. Gerber.
Dr. John Griffin and Dr. Ralph Stuck attended the meeting of the Harvey Cushing Society in Honolulu. Dr. Stuck has found it necessary to resign from the faculty because of the press of other activities.
Dr. William Lipscomb and Dr, Charles Freed attended the meeting of the Interurban Neurosurgical Society in Chicago in February, 1956.
Dr. Harry Boyd who recently completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Indiana has been appointed to the faculty in Neurosurgery. He is associated in private practice with Drs. Freed and Gerber.
A residency program involving all three hospitals has been started and approved by the Council on Medical Education of the A.M.A. Two residents, Dr. O`Donnell and Dr. Stuteville, are presently in training.
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