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University of Iowa Foundation News Release


Dec. 17, 2008

$1.6 million gift creates UI professorship; Nerad named to position

The Fuerste name has been synonymous with eye care in the Dubuque, Iowa, area for more than a half-century. Now, thanks to a gift of more than $1.6 million, the University of Iowa is honoring the Fuerste legacy with the Marion and Frederick Fuerste, M.D., Professorship in Ophthalmology.

The UI created the professorship using funds from a charitable bequest in the will of Marion Fuerste, the late widow of UI alumnus Frederick Fuerste Jr., M.D. Frederick and Marion Fuerste died in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Jeffrey Nerad, M.D. (left), a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will be named the inaugural Fuerste Professor in an investiture ceremony to be held Dec. 19 on the UI campus.

"It is a great honor to be named to a position honoring the Fuerstes," Nerad said. "Throughout my career, I have held Dr. Fuerste in high esteem, and I have been fortunate to have such a wonderful personal and professional relationship with the Fuerste family. This professorship will enable my colleagues and me to advance our work in the Oculoplastic, Orbital and Oncology Service at Iowa. Through their generosity, as with Dr. Fuerste's long career, the Fuerstes will touch the lives of many eye patients."

Gretchen Fuerste, M.D., said the professorship is a fitting tribute to her parents.

"My father always credited his and his family's success to the University of Iowa," Fuerste said, noting that four of the six Fuerste children attended the UI, and that beginning in 2009 her daughter will represent the fourth generation in the family to attend the UI medical school. "I know that our parents would be very happy to know that the Fuerste Professorship will live on at our alma mater."

Frederick Fuerste Jr. earned a bachelor's degree at the UI and went on to earn his medical degree from the UI in 1945. In 1953, he and Marion settled in Dubuque, where his father, Frederick Fuerste Sr. -- himself a UI graduate (1918 B.A., 1920 M.D.) -- had an eye, ear, nose and throat practice.

The Fuerstes built the practice into the thriving Fuerste Eye Clinic, which today is operated by three of the Fuerstes' children, all UI alumni: Gretchen Fuerste (1978 M.D., 1982 residency), Hunter Fuerste (1982 M.D.) and Rommel Fuerste (1983 M.D.).

Nerad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles and a medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed an internship at Maricopa County General Hospital; a residency in ophthalmology at St. Louis University; a preceptorship in oculoplastic and orbital surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England; and a fellowship in oculoplastic and orbital surgery at the UI. Nerad joined the UI faculty in 1985.

For more information about the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Carver College of Medicine, visit

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 UI Foundation visit http://

PHOTOS: High-resolution images of Jeffrey Nerad, M.D. and of Frederick Fuerste Jr., M.D., and Marion Fuerste are available at and

Web-quality images are available at and

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Nic Arp