Two people who mattered to me and to many other people have died recently. I wish to honor their memory by sharing a glimpse of them with you.
Manny died on January 8, 2014, one month shy of his 96th birthday. A member of a distinguished Swiss family, he earned his MD in Basel and soon thereafter went to New York City to work with the fabled Rene Dubos at the Rockefeller, training in immunological aspects of the tubercle bacillus. From there he moved to Harvard Medical School, and later he accepted the position as chair of the new microbiology department at the University of Florida Medical School. I joined this department shortly afterwards and was privileged to work under Manny for the next four years. Our department became quite distinguished in a short time, thanks to his innovative and hugely humanistic approach to teaching and administration. Following his instincts, he developed a series of distinctly Suterian ‘Instant Traditions’ that both taught and inspired. For instance, he had the medical school faculty gather in the cafeteria to discuss issues as wide-ranging as the philosophy behind testing and grading, along with questions as specific as: "Should a qualified applicant with a diagnosis of schizophrenia be admitted to medical school?" (His answer was yes.) He maintained that "People don't exist for institutions; institutions exist for people."
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