Dr. John Erskine CdeP 1938 makes an unexpected bequest.
Sometimes our alums surprise us with a bequest that shows us how influential Thacher was in their lives. This was the case with a recent gift—valued at approximately $500,000—from John Erskine CdeP 1938.
Dr. John M. Erskine graduated from Harvard Medical School after leaving Thacher and completing his undergraduate degree at Harvard. He spent two years as a doctor in the Army of Occupation in Japan, returning to Harvard for additional years of study at Massachusetts General and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals. He moved back to his home in San Francisco and became a part of the teaching and consulting staff of California Pacific Medical Center and a professor emeritus of surgery at UCSF where he taught students on a weekly basis for many years. Dr. Erskine became a pioneer in vascular surgery and was influential in creating and operating an artery bank in 1955 for the processing of arterial segments until synthetic grafts became available a few years later. When he wasn’t in surgery Dr. Erskine retreated to the mountains of the West and the Sierra Nevada. He enjoyed backpacking with friends each summer and developed an intimate knowledge of the southern Sierra, including walking the John Muir Trail.
We like to think that Dr. Erskine’s time as a Thacher student helped to nurture his lifelong passion for the sciences, for helping others, for exploring the mountains of the West, and for leaving this School stronger than he found it.