Chestertown, MD, August 16, 2000 — Surgeon Benjamin S. Carson Sr., National Science Foundation Director Rita R. Colwell, and Eastern Shore civic leader Lois S. Duffey will be honored at Washington College's Fall Convocation at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 7.
Benjamin S. Carson Sr. is professor and director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore. Dr. Carson, one of the preeminent pediatric neurosurgeons in the world, gained international renown in 1987 when he led the medical team that successfully separated conjoined twins who shared a major cerebral blood system. In 1997, he led the first completely successful separation of twins joined at the top of the head. He has refined the techniques for hemispherectomy, a radical brain surgery to stop intractable seizures, and he is known for his work in craniofacial reconstructive surgery, achondroplasia (human dwarfism), and pediatric neuro-oncology (brain tumors). As an African American who overcame the obstacles of an inner-city upbringing and difficulties in school to become one of the most celebrated physicians in the world, Dr. Carson also is an inspirational role model. He is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. His three books—Gifted Hands, Think Big, and The Big Picture—provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life.
Rita R. Colwell is director of the National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the federal government that provides support for research and education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Before becoming director of the NSF in 1998, Dr. Colwell was president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, a position she had held since 1991. She was appointed professor of microbiology at the University of Maryland in 1972. While at UM, Dr. Colwell also served as Director of the Sea Grant College and as Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Maryland System. A member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990, she has held several advisory positions in government, with private foundations, and in the international community. She was chairman of the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology for ten years. She has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 500 scientific publications, and produced the award-winning film, Invisible Seas.
Lois Salmon Duffey is a highly regarded American horsewoman whose philanthropic interests are focused on the needs of children and youth. Since moving to Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1946, Mrs. Duffey has been keenly interested in preserving and sharing the advantages of country living, and promoting educational opportunities here. Decades ago she and her husband, Harry, founded a summer camp at their Corsica River farm for disadvantaged boys from Baltimore City, and since 1947 were influential supporters of The Gunston School in Centreville, MD. Today, Mrs. Duffey continues to support Gunston and other private educational institutions and organizations helping children and young people, particularly those on the Eastern Shore. Since 1965, when she and her husband created the Harry J. Duffey Jr. Scholarship, she has been a generous benefactor of Washington College.