I have been fortunate to have encountered extraordinary mentors in my education who have shaped attitudes in my professional and personal life. Mentorship can be defined in many ways and one that is often unseen but yet surely influential is mentorship by example. Although you and I have never worked together, you have, I'm sure without knowing it, been an exemplar to me of the culturally sophisticated, scholarly physician-scientist-educator and, as such, have served as a paradigm for me and by extension, my students and my children.
In a short course on neuropathology in what seems like another lifetime, you stand out among my other mentors as a charismatic, compelling figure of articulate presentations and cogent thoughts. As I came to know you personally in later years, I joyfully added to this iconic remembrance, your kindness, humanism, and warmth. What a pleasant surprise and what a fulfilling relationship.
I think one never knows how far reaching is one's influence. I suspect yours is much greater than you will ever know and while it will remain an enduring mystery, I think you should take enormous pride and satisfaction from what surely is an extensive influence on the scientific, humanistic, and cultural lives of thousands of people and even several generations.
With gratitude and affection,
Roy K. Aaron, M.D.
Professor, Orthopedic Surgery
Director, Orthopedic Cell Biology Laboratory and Clinical Research
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
100 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906