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Generous gift will boost anatomy education

Dr. Bob Kaelin, UofL Alumnus

I was traveling and having a hard time trying to convey my feelings on this and still honor all the great men and women who dot these walls and sit in front of you today and the impact it's had on our family. So, I don't know if any of you have ever seen the bucket list. In that movie, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman end up together fighting terminal illness and the man with meager means but high integrity meets the man with high means and meager integrity, even owns the hospital where they lay. He finds a crumpled up piece of paper and reads it and finds Morgan Freeman's bucket list, or things to do before you die.

When I grew up, there were days we didn't know what was going to happen next. There were things that as time went on I said, "If I ever get there, these are the things I want to do." So I have my own bucket list. Recently I got to take care of a really big one two months ago. Today, I get to take care of two more. So I want to thank you for attending this dedication, honoring Dr. Casey's family and Dr. Rick Rink. It's a special day for me to tell you how much the University of Louisville has meant to the Kaelin family and specifically to the professor who guided me in my career for over twenty years.

Dr> Rink didn't know I was the oldest of six at home with a single mom. Dad quit school in eighth grade. Grandpa in 4th grade. There were years in trailers and 60 by 12 is not a lot for seven people. There were friends who brought food, or else my brothers and sisters were a little hungry. Being the oldest, I worked summers, digging ditches, or whatever to help my mom. But there were three things I knew. Number one, God loved me. Two, I had to find a way to help my family long term. Three, it would have to be by education. I enrolled at UofL, graduated in three years, applied to medical school to save money. I walked in the lab and met Pat Casey. He said, I have good news for you. You're in Dr. Rink's lab. I have bad news for you, you're in Dr. Rink's lab. But since Pat was always smiling, I figured it couldn't be too bad.

During that tenure, Dr. Rink taught me to be diligent in my efforts, honest in my results and ever trying to improve upon my weaknesses. Coming from an economically challenged background I really wonder if I belong here. Like today, I'm overwhelmed looking at all the professors here knowing what they've done and how little I have. The bottom line is this. Dr. Rink gave me a careful blend of criticism without beratement, encouragement with guidance, and a mandate with 100 percent integrity no matter the consequences. It was always about doing the right thing.

In summary, it seems like yesterday when me and my brother Dan, class of 85, were here studying anatomy. Since we were both surgeons we understand basic anatomical study and the necessity of upgrading our ability as teachers give information under necessary time constraints. The orderly transfer of this material is vital in instruction to achieve our ultimate goal, which is the minimization of patient error. To this worthy endeavour, my family and I want to entrust our funds to accomplish this vital task to Dean Halperin, Dr. Cook, Dr. Sauk and others here at the University of Louisville and it's even more enjoyable to do so in the name of someone who has given so much to so many.

So I leave you with this thought. Look at your bucket list. I challenge you that the prettiest girl may be like the movie says, may be the forehead of your grand daughter or the best gift you ever bought yourself was the one you bought for someone else.

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