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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 21, 2005

Photo: Samir D. "Sam" Gergis, M.D.

$1 Million Gift Creates Professorship In UI Anesthesia Department

A gift of $1 million from the estate of Samir D. "Sam" Gergis, M.D., has established the first endowed professorship in the Department of Anesthesia in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The gift, a bequest to the UI Foundation, created the Dr. Samir D. Gergis Professorship. Gergis was a longtime faculty member of the UI Department of Anesthesia.

Michael M. Todd, M.D., the head of the Department of Anesthesia, hailed the professorship as key to the department's ongoing research and clinical teaching.

"The Gergis Professorship will significantly advance Iowa's already excellent reputation for anesthesia scholarship and education," Todd said. "It is especially meaningful for us to have a professorship in our department named for our colleague and good friend, Sam Gergis, and it is appropriate that our first endowed professorship would be established by such an esteemed leader. We are extremely grateful for Dr. Gergis' generosity."

Gergis, who died in April 2005 at the age of 71, was a faculty member in the UI Department of Anesthesia for more than 35 years. He joined the department in 1969 as a resident and rose through the ranks of tenure to become full professor by 1976. He served as acting head of the department in 1977 and 1978, and served as vice chairman of clinical affairs for the Department of Anesthesia in UI Hospitals and Clinics from 1985 until 1997. He continued his clinical teaching until his death. Among numerous honors from organizations worldwide, Gergis received the American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award seven times, and he was a fellow of the American College of Anesthesiology.

A native of Egypt, Gergis entered Cairo University at age 14, eventually receiving his anesthesia and medical degrees in 1957 and 1958, respectively. He also completed a fellowship at the World Health Organization and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1963. He and his wife, Dorothy, who died in 1988, lived in Iowa City.

The Gergis gift is part of the UI's $1 billion comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university.  For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit its Web site at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

CONTACTS: Media: Tom DePrenger, Senior Director of Development, UI Carver College of Medicine/UI Hospitals and Clinics, 319-335-3305, ext. 869, 800-648-6973, ext. 869,; Writer: Nic Arp

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A photo of Samir D. "Sam" Gergis can be downloaded at the following Web links:

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