Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Dec. 6, 2001

HAROLD JESKEY: MENTOR TO HUNDREDS OF ASPIRING PHYSICIANS

A first floor lecture hall in Southern Methodist University’s new Dedman Life Sciences Building honors a popular chemistry professor at SMU who served as a mentor to more than 1,000 students who are now physicians, researchers or other health-care professionals.

Harold Jeskey taught organic chemistry at SMU from 1945-79 and served as chair of the Chemistry Department from 1962-74. His former students now include more than 800 physicians, 200 dentists, 75 with Ph.D. degrees and 25 teachers at leading universities.

As part of the Campaign for SMU, more than 350 of the professor’s colleagues, friends and former students raised more than $500,000 for the new Dedman Life Sciences Building and a lecture hall named in honor of Jeskey. Many of these -- including UT Austin President Larry Faulkner and former UT Southwestern Medical Center President Charles Sprague -- plan to attend a dedication of the lecture hall on Dec. 6.

“Professor Jeskey was a fantastic lecturer and teacher,” said Dr. Charles Logan, a 1956 graduate of SMU who is now a physician in Little Rock, Ark. “There is a lot of history and nostalgia that goes with remembering Dr. Jeskey and our days at SMU.”

The new lecture hall is not the first time Professor Jeskey’s students have raised money to honor him. An endowed professorship in chemistry also bears his name as does a scholarship for undergraduate chemistry majors who plan to pursue careers in medicine or dentistry.

“We want to honor him again and remind the SMU community of the impact he has had on generations of students,” said Dr. Fritz Barton, who organized the fund-raising drive for the Jeskey Lecture Hall. Barton is a 1964 SMU graduate and noted plastic surgeon in Dallas.

Professor Jeskey still keeps in touch with many of his former students and also works as a volunteer in SMU’s Sport Information Office.

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