Lafayette will award honorary degrees to four distinguished leaders, including three who have special ties to the College, at the 177th Commencement Saturday, May 19.
John and Marianne Loose of Forks Township, Pa., the founders of Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation, each will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service. The foundation provides financial support for pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services and offers financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer.
Barry Sleckman ’83, a noted immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.
The College announced previously that Garry Marshall, the award-winning television and film director, writer, producer, and actor, will be the Commencement speaker. He will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
Commencement will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the Quad. The academic procession will begin at 2:15 p.m. The annual Baccalaureate service will be held at 10:30 a.m. the same day, also on the Quad, and will feature a sermon by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, director of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives and associate professor of religious studies at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, Pa.
John and Marianne Loose founded Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation in 2004 in honor of their daughter, Lauren, a pediatric brain tumor survivor who is now 15. Operated entirely through the generosity of volunteers, the foundation has raised more than $1.5 million toward these goals through the Lauren’s First and Goal Football Camp and charitable contributions. More than 12,000 student-athletes from high schools in 30 U.S. states, Canada, and Singapore have attended the camps on Lafayette’s campus and in Ohio and Florida. In 201l, more than 200 volunteers planned and ran camps at Lafayette and at Otterbein University in Ohio, and more than 300 coaches, representing more than 100 colleges and universities, volunteered their services.
In 2012, the ninth annual football camp at Lafayette, featuring guest speaker Bill O’Brien, head football coach at Penn State, will be held June 3. The third annual camp at Otterbein will be held June 17.
Lauren’s First and Goal has provided more than $700,000 to fund research by the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, based at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation; Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center; and Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information.
It also has provided more than $260,000 to pediatric cancer service organizations, including, among others, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley; Angel 34, which serves pediatric cancer patients and families living in the Lehigh Valley; and Camp Sunshine, in Casco, Maine, which supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
John, Marianne, Lauren, and Gracie Loose, 12, have been members of the Lafayette family for 12 years, with John serving as defensive coordinator for the football team.
Sleckman is Conan Professor of Pathology and Immunology, chief of the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Immunology, and associate director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine.
His research focuses on DNA repair and the development of the early immune system. After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in biology, he earned a Ph.D. in immunology at Harvard University and an M.D. at Harvard Medical School. After graduating in 1989, he completed a residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. In 1998, he started his own laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine.
He has published articles in the leading journals in his field, including The Annual Review of Immunology, Cell Cycle, The EMBO Journal, The Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, The Journal of Immunology, and Nature. He holds a patent for a method for isolating genes known as Cre-trap cloning.
In addition to running his laboratory and serving in his administrative roles, Sleckman teaches immunology to medical and graduate students, who have voted him Professor of the Year seven times. He has received Washington University School of Medicine’s Distinguished Service Teaching Award three times.
Sleckman is the recipient of the Hope Award and the Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, the Investigator Award in General Immunology and Cancer Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute, and the Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.