Louis Katz School of Medicine Names Dean of Philanthropist Marjorie Joy Katz

Lewis Katz School of Medicine announced this month that its dean will be named after the late philanthropist Marjorie Joy Katz. mother.

Ask anyone who knows her to describe Marjorie Joy Katz and their reaction is pretty much the same. “After interacting with her, I walk away with this warm and uplifting feeling, as if I’ve been hugged by an angel,” Drew said. He is best known for his devotion to life.

Born in Arizona and raised in New Jersey, Marjorie has always been drawn to learning. She studied French at Penn State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1965. She loved learning and being in the classroom, so it was only natural that she returned home after her graduation, Cherry Hill, High School, and became a French and English teacher in the West. . Camden County She in college. She and Lewis married in 1966, and the couple became vigorous philanthropists in the decades that followed. But Lewis always believed that Marjorie inspired the vast generosity of her family.

Marjorie was the kind of person who remembered the details of people’s lives. She remembered the names of her spouse and children, often asked how they were doing, and she was always really interested in their responses. She was known to recognize and celebrate significant milestones in her co-workers’ family lives, such as her daughter’s high school graduation and her son’s 13th birthday. And when the girl at Marjorie’s Synagogue was diagnosed with cancer, Marjorie got permission from the girl’s parents to let her go out often to keep her well.

“Most of all, my mother loved making life brighter and better for her children. It was very important to her that everyone had a level playing field.”

— Melissa Katz Silver

On another occasion, Marjorie was so fascinated by the young son of a Vietnamese manicurist that she informally adopted the whole family. took him to summer camp, took him to a baseball game. Marjorie also took Billy and his family on trips and eventually bought a house in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

These are just a few of the hundreds of examples of how Marjorie impacted the lives of those around her. “Our house was always full of kids from different backgrounds,” Drew said. His sister Melissa Katz-Silver added: It was very important to her mother that everyone have a level playing field. ”

Melissa and Drew acknowledge that despite the great contributions many women in history have made to the world around them, their names have been lost to history. It was essential to them and their families that Jolie’s contributions would always be remembered and that her example could continue to inspire others. He said he could not think of a better way to do this than to name it after him.

This decision was something Drew spent a lot of time thinking about. He admits that the notoriety was not something his mother strived for, and that this kind of recognition was not what she sought. Although a source of solace for the Katz family, honoring Marjorie in this way means much more.

The ripple effect from the dean’s chair is immeasurable. Drew ultimately hopes that her mother’s legacy and values ​​will influence her dean and inspire the next generation of Katz students who enter the medical field each year. With a focus on reducing inequalities and impacting impactful change, we are uniquely positioned for students to pursue careers in healthcare. Drew hopes that the inclusion of Marjorie’s name in the dean’s chair will help us continue to understand the importance of intimate, interpersonal ways in which we can heal the world around us.

An old photo shows Marjorie and Louis Katz posing with their two children, Melissa and Drew.

It is especially fitting that Amy J. Goldberg, the first female dean in the school’s history, is also the first dean to hold the title of Dean Marjorie Joy Katz at Lewis Katz School of Medicine. . Goldberg is a highly regarded surgeon who has dedicated his life to making the world around him better.

“I am truly honored to serve as the first female dean of Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and the name of the role recognizes women with a heritage rooted in kindness and generosity,” said Goldberg. “I have no doubt that Marjorie’s values ​​will guide my leadership as Dean, as they will for those who will lead our school in the future.” .”

Drew hopes that the example of his mother and Goldberg will encourage future deans of medical schools to follow in their footsteps.

“I hope my mother’s name reminds me to always focus on making a difference and helping those who need it most,” Drew said. It’s easy to focus on students, and it’s hard to find a way to accommodate struggling students and give them the support they need to grow and succeed.That’s what my mom did.Goldberg I know PhDs will, and I hope all future deans will.

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