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UNR Med School's 50th Anniversary Thumbnail

UNR Med School's 50th Anniversary

Joe's alumni message was featured in the UNR Med School's Winter 2020 issue of Synapse magazine


One of UNR Med’s most illustrious alumni, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, M.D. ’82, ’78 (pre-med), chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was recently back on campus and served as the keynote speaker at the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation’s 38th Annual Foundation Banquet.

Dr. Desmond-Hellmann spoke fondly of growing up in Reno, calling it her foundation for success. She is grateful to be part of such an incredible community and will always consider it her home base.

I am a longtime fan of the Gates Foundation. A few years ago in Omaha, Nebraska, I had an opportunity to speak one-on-one with Bill Gates Sr., the author of “Showing up For Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime.” He shared with me how difficult it was to raise the younger Bill, who at age 13 would disappear at night without regard for curfews or parentally imposed limits. Bill Jr. and his friend Paul Allen eventually co-founded Microsoft.

In his book, Bill Sr. traced the family’s history from the 1930’s to today’s unimaginable riches. Bill Sr. had a positive childhood and was independent, eventually becoming a practicing attorney. His late wife Mary was a legend in charitable organization circles. Bill Sr. believed in showing up and speaking up for good causes, always action over contemplation. They raised their family with a strong moral compass and were known to be loving and compassionate. It’s no surprise that Bill Jr. and Melinda would eventually donate much of their wealth to a charitable foundation.

The UNR Med Alumni Chapter sincerely thanks you for your participation and efforts in making our 50th anniversary one to remember. As we pivot and look forward to the next 50 years, I would like to invite you to consider becoming an active member of our alumni chapter. Through membership, UNR Med alumni from Nevada and across the nation have reconnected with the school, its faculty and current students.

For more information about becoming an UNR Med Alumni Chapter member or supporting the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, please contact Amelia Lane, assistant director of development, at amelial@unr.edu or (775) 682-6455, or visit med.unr.edu/alumni.

Joe Hollen, M.D.

UNR Med Alumni Chapter President, 2018-2020