Memorial Service Will Honor Body Donors and Families

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences and Sanford School of Medicine will remember the 2015 donors to the body donor program during a memorial service at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the atrium of the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medical and Science Building.

This is the 12th year of the memorial service that honors family members by recognizing the contribution of their loved ones who gave a special gift to the study of medicine. Students from the medical, physician assistant, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs along with faculty and staff will share testimonials and their appreciation to family members in attendance.

“The body donation program’s memorial service is an important opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to show our appreciation for our donors’ selfless gifts. The service also allows us to honor the family and friends who supported their loved one’s wishes,” said Sara Bird, coordinator of USD’s body donor program.

The Sanford School of Medicine and the School of Health Sciences rely on the voluntary donation of bodies for medical and other professional health programs. Body donations are crucial in teaching gross anatomy as the foundation for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, occupational and physical therapists, and paramedics.

"The anatomy laboratory is a unique educational experience, and the memorial service is an integral aspect of that experience," said Dr. Stuart Inglis, director of medical anatomical laboratories. "Students have an opportunity to express their gratitude to the donors’ families and to gain an appreciation of the rich and fulfilling lives that these people have led."


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News