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Family, Friends Honor Hershel “Pat” Wall for a Life Well Lived

Hershel “Pat” Wall, MD

Hershel “Pat” Wall, MD, whose outstanding career at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center spanned more than 50 years, was remembered and honored during a celebration of life today at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis. 

Dr. Wall, who served as Chancellor Emeritus of UTHSC since 2012, passed away December 16. He was lauded as an exceptional academician, clinician, and leader for the university he loved and the community in which he lived and raised his family. 

Several individuals from UTHSC, including Chancellor Peter Buckley, MD, attended the ceremony, reflecting Dr. Wall’s stature and legacy at the university that was his life’s work.

Chancellor Buckley told the family that it was a privilege to join in remembering and honoring Dr. Wall, “who was, by any and all measures, a great man and certainly a tremendous academician and leader, who has left a great legacy at UTHSC – including quite frankly a fondness and deep admiration for him that is shared widely on campus.”

Scott Morris, MD, MDiv, founder and executive director for Church Health in Memphis, described Dr. Wall’s formative role in ensuring the success of Church Health, as well as his great knowledge and kindness to people.

Dr. Wall’s son, Matt, spoke of his father’s commitment as a family man and his support of his community. He also expressed the gratitude of the family for all the reminders of Dr. Wall’s well-lived life and the esteem friends and colleagues hold for him. 

A note in the program for the ceremony said that Dr. Wall had chosen the scriptures, hymns, readings, and special music for the day. His choice of the following poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson to close the ceremony seems particularly fitting.

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

Note: Read more about Dr. Wall and his lifetime of service to UTHSC at uthsc.edu/news.