Retired doctor to speak at commencement

Richard Wood

DAVENPORT — Dr. Richard Wood, a retired physician and graduate of St. Ambrose (College) University, will be the 2012 commencement speaker at his alma mater. He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the May 12 ceremony at the i wireless Center in Moline, Ill. The commencement ceremony starts at 1 p.m.
“Dr. Wood is a distinguished graduate of St. Ambrose whose outstanding career advanced medical practice and saved countless lives,” said St. Ambrose University President Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ. “His life is an example of professional excellence and innovation, coupled with service and compassion for those less fortunate.”
A native of Macomb, Ill., and the oldest of five boys, Dr. Wood served as an altar boy for his small Irish Catholic parish during his youth. As a standout athlete at Monmouth (Ill.) High School he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track, earning a football scholarship at St. Ambrose where he lettered for three years. He was class president during his senior year and graduated from St. Ambrose in 1958.
He went on to complete his medical studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, interned at Cincinnati General Hospital, completed his residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and was a Fulbright Scholar at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London from 1965-66.
Dr. Wood is board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. For more than 35 years, he served as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He performed 55 heart transplants, three lung transplants and two heart-lung transplants. Dr. Wood retired after a nearly 50-year medical career.
His community involvements continue to be focused on providing volunteer medical and relief assistance. He holds membership in the Knights of Malta, a lay religious order that provides humanitarian assistance and medical care to the poor and sick, and has served as a medical officer for three pilgrimages to Lourdes, France.
He and his wife, Judith, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.

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