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Retirement

Victor C. Vaughan
The Michigan Alumnus 342


Few men on Michigan's long faculty roll
 have been able to ren
der more conspicuous 
and distinguished service than Dr. Victor 
C. Vaughan, who is to retire from his 
position as Dean of the Medical School
 on June 30. The nation as well as the
 University will find itself deeply indebted
 to him when the audit of his life work is
 made.

Fortunately his retirement does 
not mean the cessation of his labors, for 
he has undertaken to publish an exten
sive review of the Government's work in
 checking of epidemics during the late
 war, in which he played so large a part. For 45 years he has been in the service of 
the University, and of this period thirty
 years were spent as Dean of the Medical
 School. His resignation, which was announced February 10, is to take effect 
June 30. 


The Medical School as it stands at 
present in the forefront of American 
medical schools, is largely the result 
of his labors. When he came to the 
School, though even then it was large 
in numbers, it stood only at the be
ginning of the modern scientific meth
ods of study. Dr. Vaughan has not 
only kept abreast of the extraordinary 
development in the science of medicine
 during the past fifty years, but he has 
been one of its conspicuous teachers. Few medical men have received more
 distinguished honors than he, and to him
 many tasks of unusual significance have 
been referred. Not only did he take a 
worthy part in the Spanish-American
 war as Major and Division Surgeon of 
the 33rd Michigan Infantry, but he was 
appointed one of the committee of three 
to survey conditions in the camps that caused the epidemic of typhoid fever. He made the final report and recommendations
 alone. Subsequently 
he became President of the American 
Medical Association. In the late war he
 was attached to the office of the Surgeon 
General with the rank of Colonel, and
 was charged with the duty of keeping the 
camps of this country free from epi
demics. He took charge after the out-
break of influenza in the first year, and 
it was due to him that the disease was
 stamped out as soon as it was.


It is safe to say, however, that Dr.
 Vaughan's greatest work has been in the 
Medical School of the University, in the 
successful training of thousands of
 young men as physicians. This has been 
his great achievement and the pleasant
 relations he has maintained with hun
dreds of his former students, were they
 known, would form a more effective
 tribute to his work for Michigan than his 
better known activities. 


A suggestive incident might illustrate 
this. One day some years ago Dr.
 Vaughan received a letter from a father
 in a western hamlet, asking about the 
record of his son who had been reporting 
great success in the University. Inquiry 
showed that no one of that name was 
enrolled in the University and Dr.
 Vaughan wrote to the father to that 
effect.

A few weeks later the father, a 
substantial German farmer, appeared, 
 accompanied by a shame-faced young 
man. The father wanted to know
 whether something could not be done for 
the boy, who had obviously been wasting 
his life in riotous living while the father
 supposed he had been attending the Uni
versity.

The situation, and the father's
 earnestness, appealed to Dr. Vaughan, 
who arranged to give the boy a trial, 
 merely stipulating that he should report 
to him at a stated time every week. The
 result was a complete success, and the 
culprit eventually became the leading 
surgeon of one of our large cities. Of 
such stuff are our great educators made.