Lund University honors Dr. Gene Strandness '50 and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan with honorary doctorates
By Michelle Warmuth, Editorial Assistant
Dr. Donald E. "Gene" Strandness '50 was in good company when he received an honorary doctorate of medicine in May from Lund University in Lund, Sweden. One of the largest units for research and higher education in Scandinavia, the university also bestowed an honorary doctorate in law to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Strandness, professor of surgery at the University of Washington, received the degree for his ground-breaking work with noninvasive procedures using Doppler ultrasound to find and track vascular disease.
A recipient of PLU's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1980, Strandness maintains strong ties with PLU. He and his wife, Edith (Olund '55), a retired nurse, have provided a deferred gift through their estate planning that will establish an endowed chair in biology.
"Endowing a biology chair seemed the logical thing to do," said Strandness. "President Anderson gave a talk in Bellevue during the university's last campaign, and it was there that I told him I was interested in endowing a chair."
Strandness strongly believes in PLU's Christian mission and in the university's close student-faculty ties. "You feel a part of the family having personal relationships with the faculty. This kind of personal contact and encouragement is not always available at other universities."
Strandness has received numerous other awards and honors, including the University of Washington School of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1997; Cid Dos Santos Boehringer Mannheim Prize, 1980; Merit Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 1987; Albion O. Bernstein, MD, Award from the Medical Society of the State of New York,1995; and he is listed in "Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare," 1997-98. Strandness also has written several medical books and countless articles.
The Strandnesses live in Bellevue, Wash., and have four children - Erik '81, Tracy '82, Jill '88 and Sandra.
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