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Fostering growth through giving

Arlene and Mark Dahl, M.D.

Professor emeritus and wife support U department through current and future gifts

Mark Dahl, M.D., a University of Minnesota Medical School alumnus and former dermatology department head, has spent 46 years as a dermatologist and researcher. That qualifies him as an expert in identifying and solving problems. “Dermatology is a field where I can see what I’m treating and how well the treatment works” he says.

Waning state support for higher education motivated Dahl and his wife, Arlene, to establish a deferred gift annuity and a future gift to benefit the University’s Department of Dermatology.

“The state doesn’t support the University as it should. The departments always need money,” says Dahl, who along with his wife, also recently made a leadership gift to an endowed dermatology resident education fund and make regular gifts to another endowed fund in the department.

Now a professor emeritus, Dahl came to the University of Minnesota as a medical student (Class of 1968). Later, he became a dermatology researcher and professor and from 1995 to 2000 was head of the Department of Dermatology.

Dahl says that his teaching experiences also inspire him to support the University. “People are going into medicine with the same ideas, values, and excitement that I had,” he says. “They’re interested in taking care of people and in science. These bright, committed students will make an impact and do something productive.”

Dahl developed strong ties to the University when, as a medical student, he received career guidance from his professors, including Robert Good, M.D., who helped to foster his interest in immunology and the study of disease. “I’m very grateful to the University for my education,” he says. “The U is a great place. It gave me a successful career.”

After completing his residency at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, Dahl returned to the University to work in 1974. His research focused on immunology and dermatological aspects of infectious diseases.

Dahl stayed at the University for 26 years and says he thrived here because of the intellectual atmosphere and the faculty’s cross-disciplinary approach to their work and willingness to explore topics outside of their specialties. “It was fantastic,” says Dahl.

Ten years ago, when he wanted to try something new, Dahl joined the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he works part time, though he has remained connected to the University of Minnesota as a professor emeritus. He plans to retire this year and is looking forward to spending time at his Norway pine tree farm in Ideal, Minnesota.

Although the couple has supported the dermatology department with many gifts over the years, making a planned gift for the long-term was important to winning financially and the University’s winning. “

When evaluating their estate plans, Dahl says that the couple’s two children (and eight grandchildren) came first, but the University was a high priority. “I’ve come to realize a lot about giving,” he says. “What’s important to me is teaching and mentoring and providing opportunities for personal growth. That’s a big thing for me in creating a lasting, living legacy.”

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