The Case Western Reserve University Board of Trustees has honored distinguished alumnus and Interim President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., with the university's highest honor—the University Medal.
Eastwood, who was named interim president in April 2006 and began his tenure two months later, is the 22nd person to receive the University Medal since the board established the award in 1971. The last recipient was Tinkham Veale II, also a distinguished alumnus, in 2003.
The University Medal is awarded in recognition of leadership, dedication and service to the university, to higher education and to society. The solid silver medal bears the university seal on one side, while the reverse cites the recipient's name and the date the medal was awarded. A committee of university faculty, trustees and select medal recipients recommend new honorees.
University Board of Trustees Chair Frank Linsalata received the recommendation that Eastwood be awarded the honor and presented the medal to the interim president at the board's meeting June 2.
"Your commitment to your alma mater is a testament to all of us here today," Linsalata said. "Greg, you did not allow words like 'interim' stop you from caring and from demonstrating great leadership in facing any issue."
Eastwood said he and his wife, Lynn, were humbled by the recognition.
"Lynn and I have enjoyed our experience and the tremendous support from the university community," Eastwood said. "It is an honor to have served my alma mater, and I am encouraged by the positive changes in and direction of Case Western Reserve University."
During his tenure as interim president, Eastwood improved communication between university administration and students, faculty, staff and alumni, and in so doing, instilled improved confidence and stability in the university. Eastwood also commissioned a study and appointed a task group to address the university's logo, and on June 2 the Board of Trustees approved the group's recommendation of a new design.
In addition, after the former director of the university's Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence resigned, Eastwood stepped up—putting his plans for a sabbatical on hold for a second time—to serve as the new director. He will continue as director of the center when President-elect Barbara R. Snyder begins her tenure July 1.
Before joining Case Western Reserve as its interim president, Eastwood was a member of the university's Board of Trustees and had served as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., since January 1993. Eastwood planned on a sabbatical from SUNY Upstate in bioethics at Case Western Reserve, but the university Board of Trustees asked him to serve as interim president instead.
Eastwood received his B.A. from Albion College (Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha). He is married to Lynn Marshall Eastwood who received her M.S. in mathematics from Case Institute of Technology.
Over the past 15 years, Eastwood's professional interests have included the responsibilities of academic health centers to the health of the community, the role of leadership in academic health centers, bioethics and ethics of academic health organizations. He has authored 125 articles and book chapters and has written or edited several books.
Eastwood's career in academic medicine also has included research, teaching and the practice of gastroenterology. He has held faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Before joining Upstate in 1993, Eastwood was dean of the Medical College of Georgia.
Since the university's Board of Trustees established the University Medal in 1971, these people have received it:
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