On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Dr. Cornelius R. Hager, who was the founder of the University of Kentucky Community College system, and the president of Asbury College on three separate occasions, among many other things during his life. Dr. Hager stepped in at several times in the history of the college when there were times of instability, division, strife, and chaos, and provided a rudder to keep us going in the right direction during those times. I didn’t really know him, but owe much to his hard work, not least of which is my fine college education and my current job.
Yesterday, I attended a memorial service for my grandmother, who died two years ago. In the past two years, she has been in active service at the University of Kentucky college of medicine. When she died, her body was given to the college of medicine to participate in the training of young medical students, giving them hands-on training in human anatomy, and providing, in a very real sense, their first patient. Due to her gift, another generation of doctors will be able to heal more effectively. You can find more about the UK Body Bequeathal program here: http://www.mc.uky.edu/neurobiology/bb_about.asp.
The memorial service was a very simple and beautiful multi-faith memorial of the lives of these people and the gift that they gave, extending their service to mankind even beyond death. It was attended by families of those who were being commemorated – about 50 names were read out – and many of the students who had benefited from their gift.