Founding Dean of EVMS dies

Story Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:27:00 EDT

Robert T. Manning, MD, the founding dean of EVMS and architect of the school’s humanistic culture, died Sept. 10.

A native of Texas, Dr. Manning earned his medical degree from Kansas University Medical School. He  remained there for his residency training in internal medicine and joined the school’s faculty, eventually becoming a professor and Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

In 1971, he was drawn to Virginia to help establish the new medical school that would become EVMS.

Pat Williams, PhD, was Dr. Manning’s first faculty hire. Dr. Williams recalls that she was enticed by his unusual approach that emphasized respect and compassion — whether in the classroom or the clinic.

“His enormous influence on the ambience at EVMS is still very much in evidence today,” Dr. Williams says. “Even the proposed revisions to the curriculum incorporate much of the educational philosophy he brought to EVMS.”

Robert McCombs, PhD, joined the EVMS faculty just before the school opened in 1973. He credits Dr. Manning with fostering a “fantastic, friendly learning environment.” This welcoming atmosphere has attracted generations of students.

After stepping down as EVMS Dean in 1974, he remained at the school three more years as Chair of Internal Medicine. EVMS presented him an honorary degree in 1991.

Dr. Manning rejoined the University of Kansas as Chairman of Resident Education at Wesley Hospital. He remained there until his retirement in 1992.

A celebration of his life will take place at The Worship Place in Georgetown, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 9. The family requests no flowers. Contributions can be made in his memory at Wichita State University, Kansas University Medical Center, EVMS and The Worship Place or The Caring Place, both in Georgetown, Texas.