This is the 11th year for the service that honors family members through testimonials and words of appreciation for the contribution their loved ones made toward the study of medicine.

“The 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 the Body Donation 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. Donors have served as the "first patient" for thousands of USD students.

"The anatomy laboratory is a unique educational experience, and the memorial service is an integral aspect of that experience." said 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."

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