A Convocation of Thanks to honor those who have bequeathed their bodies


    LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The University of Louisville Department of Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology will host a special ceremony to honor the lives of those who have bequeathed their bodies to further research and science. A Convocation of Thanks will take place tonight at 6pm in the first floor auditorium at Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, 500 S. Preston Street.

    The program will include student musical performances, personal reflections, and a candle-lighting ceremony. First-year medical students Ian Holbrook and Will Sears have composed an original musical work for this event. The medical and dental school deans are expected to give opening remarks.

    “Donating to the bequeathal program reflects an extraordinary commitment to life and the well being of others,” said Fred Roisen, PhD, professor and chair of the UofL Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology. “It’s the most generous contribution a human can make.”

    Many families of those who have bequeathed their bodies to UofL will attend the ceremony. In memory of their loved one, some have contributed a quote or photograph that will be displayed at the reception.

    Currently, 4,500 people are registered in the UofL Bequeathal Program. In 2010, nearly 170 people willed their bodies to help train medical, dental, graduate and audiology students, and further scientific knowledge. In turn, this has the potential to improve the welfare of patients for years to come.

    During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 165 medical students have taken gross anatomy, with more than 120 dental students learning about the body through gross anatomy and head & neck anatomy. Graduate students, audiology students and medical residents also depend on this type of education for their future careers. Student representatives from these disciplines will perform a musical work or offer a personal reflection during this evening’s service.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.