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College of Health Professions Celebration of Life

October 20, 2021
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The Anderson University College of Health Professions honored those whose gift ensures better trained medical professionals.

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“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.” —Psalm 139:14

In Psalm 139, King David tells of the wonderful handiwork of God—the human body. 

There is no better way for students who are entering health—learning how to treat the human body—than to explore the human body itself. 

The Anderson University College of Health Professions offers undergraduates and graduates alike such experiences. These experiences are normally only encountered in medical school, and these experiences are only possible when individuals, in their final planning, donate their bodies for this purpose. 

In memory of these men and women who have given in this way, and in honor of their families, The College of Health Professions at Anderson University held a Celebration of Life Service Oct. 1 at Vandiver Hall. Attending this service were students, faculty and staff of the College of Health Professions and members of the Anderson University administration.

“This service is dedicated to those who, in death, continue to serve the living,” said Dr. Donald Peace, Dean of the College of Health Professions. “Each of these donors, by their final compassionate gift, has participated in a great humanitarian and educational endeavor.” Dr. Peace also praised the Gift of Body program and its many donors for their important role in making this level of education possible.

“The Gift of Body Program is for individuals wishing to participate in the noble and time-honored practice of donating their bodies to advance scientific discovery after their death,” Dr. Peace continued. “Our donor bodies are treated with the utmost respect, and then cremated and returned to the family or interred at the Donor Memorial Garden.”

Three students shared their experiences and gratitude during the Celebration of Life Service.

“We have dreams of becoming physical therapists and doctors. After we complete our undergraduate studies here at Anderson, we’ll continue on to graduate programs and then our careers, where we’ll spend a lifetime working with the human body,” said Olivia Gassman, who hopes to someday enter medical school. “We’re able to learn so much more than we ever could from just a diagram. We learn how closely related everything is in the body, and how no body system is completely segregated from another.” 

“They’ve given us a tremendous and priceless gift. I can’t help but be grateful for this place and the hands-on education I’m receiving,” said Elise Brewster, who is a junior majoring in Kinesiology. Grateful for the advantages of learning in a smaller lab, Brewster added, “We’re all very thankful for the intimate setting this lab provides. You get such a high level of experience within this approachable environment.”  

“Seeing the intricacies of the human body gives us such an appreciation for our God and how intelligent He is,” said Peyton Herndon, a junior majoring in Kinesiology. “How can we see something like this and not believe in our Lord? I think that’s something that will stay with us as much as this knowledge we take away.”

Dr. Nnenna Igwe, Associate Professor and Anatomist in the College of Health Professions, says the Celebration of Life will be an annual event. “We’re here because we have support and we’re grateful to all you do for our students to make our lab work,” Igwe said.

As the service concluded, Dr. James Noble closed in a prayer of thanks for the donors and their families. “These bodies will still speak to us, even in death; therefore may volumes of knowledge be learned so that students will go on and have successful careers,” Noble prayed.

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