News Update: Paul Farmer Appointed University Professor; Peter Gomes Suffers Stroke

Farmer is known for humanitarian work and global health; Gomes is hospitalized.

Paul Farmer

Harvard announced today that Paul Farmer, M.D. ’88, Ph.D. ’90, anthropologist and physician and founder of Partners in Health, has been appointed the first Kolokotrones University Professor. Farmer is known globally as a humanitarian who has worked to deliver care to desperately underserved people in Haiti and elsewhere. An excerpt from Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder ’67, which brought Farmer’s work to broader attention, is available here.

In the University announcement, President Drew Faust said:

Paul Farmer is best known to the public as a pioneering humanitarian. But among scholars he is equally well-known for his research and writing, which have crossed boundaries between the social sciences and biomedical research and married theory and practice to forge a new approach to global health. He is also an outstanding educator with a remarkable capacity to inspire students to focus their minds and their energies on serving the common good.


Fred Field/Harvard News Office

Reverend Peter J. Gomes

Separately, the Patriot Ledger and the Boston Globe reported that the Reverend Peter J. Gomes, Plummer professor of Christian morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, suffered a stroke on Friday, December 10. Harvard Magazine understands that Gomes, who the Crimson reported had a pacemaker implanted in October 2009, suffered a heart attack and a subsequent stroke; after being cared for at Massachusetts General Hospital initially, he has been transferred to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. Memorial Church announced in its program last Sunday that the Reverend Wendel W. Meyer was rejoining its staff as associate minister for administration; he will fill in at the Church during Gomes’s absence. Gomes is widely known for his benedictions at the Morning Exercises each Commencement, where he reads a prayer that has been concealed in his cap.

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