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Profiles in Giving

Volunteer Spotlight: Robert Kennison, M60

About him

Known as "Mr. Tufts Medicine" to those at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), Dr. Bob Kennison, M60, has earned the title. Former president of the Tufts Medical Alumni Association, chairman of two committees of the Tufts University Alumni Association, and a member of the university Alumni Council, Kennison has played a major role in keeping Tufts students and alumni at the front of their fields. Kennison, a Malden, Mass., native, recently retired from the gynecology and obstetrics department at Tufts Medical Center, where over the years he served as acting chairman and head of residency.

His contributions to Tufts

Thirty years ago Kennison helped create the Problem Based Learning program, still in existence today at Tufts, under which students are given a clinical case during their first week of medical school. The students decide what they need to learn, carry out the research, and teach each other what they find: a model for what every doctor has to do after medical school.

To strengthen the sense of community at TUSM, Kennison helped create the medical school's Distinguished Service Awards, given out each year at the medical school's reunion, in which alumni are honored both for achievement in their fields and in their communities.

Why Tufts?

Kennison says the interest he takes in his students and residents mirrors the interest his own professors took in him when he was a student at Tufts. The sense of community he got as a student visiting patients' homes as part of the Home Medical Service at Tufts and getting to know their families, is still an important component of the TUSM student and alumni experience.

He says, "It's very gratifying for me to be able to teach and keep medical alumni up-to-date, interested, and involved in what's going on both on campus and in the medical field."