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School of Medicine: Message From the Dean

The Sholley Trolley Departs

Have you ever heard of the Sholley Trolley?

If, at some point in the past 33 years, you have studied for your medical degree on the MCV Campus, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology Milton Sholley, Ph.D., has an extensive knowledge of gross anatomy, a mental catalog of pertinent clinical applications and the legendary ability to connect the dots between the two.

That combination makes watching him in the Gross Anatomy Lab a little like seeing the Pied Piper at work. When he points out an unusual anatomical finding, students flock to his side—or climb onto a nearby countertop to get a better vantage point. And then follow him on to the next specimen, and thus the Sholley Trolley is formed.

But now, Dr. Sholley has announced his retirement. So last Friday, while Dr. Sholley and his wife were quietly packing his office, the students conspired with Anatomy Course Director Richard Krieg, Ph.D., to surprise Dr. Sholley with a heartfelt thank you for those trolley rides.

With a fabricated plea for input on a video project, Dr. Krieg led Dr. Sholley and his wife Peg to the Egyptian Building. And as Dr. Sholley walked down the sloping aisle of the Baruch Auditorium, the students welcomed him with a standing ovation. Invited to the podium to make some remarks, the surprised Dr. Sholley paused and listened to a call from the back of the auditorium: “We want some knowledge!”

“Well, I forgot my PowerPoints,” Dr. Sholley began. He went on to say how much he has enjoyed teaching the different classes over the years, not just from behind the podium, but especially in the gross lab where “we really do the work.” He also shared with them his hopes that they would use what he’d taught them throughout their careers. And before he stepped away from the podium for a final time, he concluded:

“Next slide please.”

Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Medical Center
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Updated: 08/19/2008