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Keeping radiology at the forefront

Dr. Harvey and Evelyn Stone felt compelled to give back to the Medical School for preparing Dr. Stone for

Grateful for past ties to the radiology department, couple helps secure its future

The field of radiology looked a little different when Harvey Stone, M.D., studied at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the 1940s. No one taught ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or positron emission tomography—standard subjects for today’s students.

“We more or less just had X-ray studies,” says Stone.

Still, his experience in the department deeply impressed him and set the stage for a successful career as a radiologist. Among his favorite professors were E. T. Bell, M.D., Leo Rigler, M.D., and Wilhelm Stenstrom, Ph.D. Following his residency, Stone spent two years training under Stenstrom, who started the University’s radiation therapy program—still in its infancy at the time.

“I felt I owed them something,” says Stone. “The University gave me a great future.” He and his wife, Evelyn, acted on that feeling of gratitude last December, when they made a $1 million bequest from their retirement assets to the Department of Radiology. The Dr. Harvey W. and Evelyn L. Stone Endowed Professorship in Radiology will help the department attract and retain outstanding faculty in support of the University’s research mission.

The Stones’ generosity will help keep the department at the forefront of medicine, says department chair Charles Dietz, M.D., who is looking forward to the planned expansion of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and to “broadening imaging research to encompass many different axes, especially the neurosciences and cancer.”

Private philanthropy advances education and research, says Dietz. “The money might fund a continuing medical education course, a visiting professorship within a residency program, a research assistant, or a pilot project for an eventual NIH grant.”

The Stones, who met in junior high in North Minneapolis and started “going steady” as sophomores at the University, share fond memories of their time at the U. They spent many evenings together in Northrop Auditorium listening to Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra concerts conducted by Eugene Ormandy.

“We got married in 1943, when Harvey was in medical school,” Evelyn says. Medical School fees at the time were $37.50 per quarter, she adds.

Harvey Stone recalls a lecture by an internist who had just returned from an infectious diseases meeting on the East Coast. “He wrote the word ‘penicillin’ across the blackboard. It was the first time we had seen the word. The professor said, “This is going to revolutionize the treatment of disease.’”

Although the Stones settled in Long Beach, California, they like to stay connected to the University and visited their alma mater in 2005.

“Mind-boggling,” says Stone of his tour of the Radiology Department, well-known for advancing high-field-strength magnetic resonance imaging, neuroradiology, interventional radiology, pediatric radiology, and mammography. “The advances are so great and so important.”

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