A Firm Foundation

Peter Kohler, MD’63, HS’64, president emeritus of Oregon Health and Science University, traces many of the foundations of his life and career back to his time at Duke.

Rounds with Eugene Stead, MD, former chair of medicine, instilled in his curiosity and the need for intellectual rigor.

Peter KohlerSome of his medical school classmates are still his friends to this day. And a double date with classmates introduced him to his future wife, a nursing student named Judy Baker.

When Judy was diagnosed with Graves' disease, William Anylan, MD, professor of surgery and later dean of the School of Medicine, removed her thyroid.

"I watched the surgery from a viewing area,” Kohler says. “Then I said, 'Well I need to learn more about this.' So I took an endocrine fellowship."

Kohler ended up pursuing endocrinology, beginning a distinguished career that included service as dean of the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio and vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The Kohlers recently made a reunion gift to the Davison Club, becoming a member of the Innovators Society. "I wanted to give back because I really am grateful for the education that I have received at Duke," he says.

August 23, 2018