About Us > History

Alpha Omega Alpha (ΑΩΑ) Honor Medical Society

History


Motto: Worthy to Serve the Suffering
National AOA Home Founded in 1938 by William Webster Root
West Virginia Alpha Chapter Founded in 1962

Chapter History:

On April 25, 1962, James A. Campbell, MD Secretary/Treasurer of the National Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society notified WVU Vice President for Health Sciences, Kenneth E. Penrod, PhD, that the West Virginia alpha chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha was approved as a new chapter of the honor medical society as established by the faculty members of AOA Home. This would be the 86th chapter for AOA Home. The Founding Members who were first elected by other institutions included: 

 
FOUNDING MEMBERS ELECTED BY OTHER INSTITUTIONS
Name Institution of Election
Margaret Albrink, MD Internal Medicine Yale University
Wilhelm S. Albrink, MD Pathology Yale University
William E. Anderson, MD Internal Medicine University of Minnesota
Edmund B. Flink, MD Internal Medicine University of Minnesota
William G. Klingberg, MD Pediatrics Washington Univ – St. Louis
Donald Koppel, MD Internal Medicine Illinois University
John J. Lawless, MD Internal Medicine/ UHS University of Chicago
Hisham S. Majzoub, MD Surgery American University of Beirut
Franklin Milam, MD Urology University of Pennsylvania
John W. Nelson, MD Neurology Indiana University
G. Robert Nugent, MD Neurosurgery University of Cincinnati
Justus C. Pickett, MD Orthopedics Case Western Reserve
Kenneth E. Penrod, PhD Physiology/ VP Health Sciences Duke University
Maynard Pride , MD Surgery Case Western Reserve
Stanley R. Shane, MD Internal Medicine University of Kansas
Benjamin B. Stout, Jr. MD Internal Medicine Jefferson Medical College
Thomas J. Tarnay, MD Surgery Columbia University
Kenneth E. Thomas, MD Surgery Stanford University
Frederick R. Whittlesey, MD Internal Medicine Case Western Reserve
 

The charter members elected by the founding members included: Clark K. Sleeth, MD, Dean; Edward J. VanLiere, PhD, MD, Dean Emeritus; Harold I. Amory,MD, Chair Radiology; Nicholas W. Fugo, MD, Chair Obstetrics and Gynecology; Robert J. Johnson, MD, Chair of Anatomy; Reginald F. Krause, MD, Chair of Biochemistry; Thomas A. Loftus, MD, Chair of Psychiatry; and Bernard Zimmerman, MD, Chair of Surgery. 

PylonsThe founding officers included: President: Frederick R. Whittlesey, MD; Secretary/Treasurer: William G. Klingberg, MD; Counsellor: John J. Lawless, MD.

On May 23, 1962, Wilbert C. Davison, MD, President of National AOA Home and Dean Emeritus of Duke University School of Medicine came to Morgantown for the initial installation banquet and the inaugural annual AOA Home speaker. His talk was entitled, "Trends in Medical Practice".

The chaper has preserved the text of the second induction banquet speech delivered by chapter member Franklin Milam, MD delivered May 24, 1963. To read the text, please click here.

Medical History has always been important at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. The noted American sculptor, Milton Horn, was commissioned in 1954 to create a visual history of the healing arts for the proposed West Virginia University Medical Center. He produced eight high-relief panels depicting important developments and personages in the history of medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy. Medical Center architect, Cyrus E. Silling, had chosen Horn to render the sculptures. Collaborating with his wife, Estelle, the artist took a year for research in the history of health sciences. Fifteen milestones from the beginning of health sciences to the twentieth century were carved in white Georgia marble on each face of the fifteen-foot pylons marking the entrance of the Basic Sciences building at the Medical Center. The reliefs, installed in October, 1956, have become the emblem of the now Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. This art depicting important milestones in the History of medicine remind the members of AOA Home to strive for excellence and remit suffering each time they enter the building.