The UTMB School of Medicine honored four alumni for outstanding service to the medical profession and to humanity at the 2011 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception, held June 3, at William C. Levin Hall Dining Room on the UTMB campus. The awardees were also recognized during the School of Medicine commencment ceremony where they were given an engraved medallion depicting an image of Old Red.

The prestigious ASDA Award is the highest honor bestowed by the SOM Alumni Association and has been presented to fewer than 2 percent of SOM alumni since 1965. It is awarded annually to up to four SOM alumni whose integrity, stature, ability, and accomplishments in the medical field set them apart as inspiring examples for faculty, students, and fellow alumni. Recipients demonstrate pride in UTMB; a commitment to improve the lives of others through civic, community, or church service; and have made significant contributions to the medical community during their respective careers.

A prominent figure in Texas medicine, politics and education, Dr. Ashbel Smith was considered the driving force behind establishing the University of Texas at Austin in 1881, and a medical department, that would later be known as UTMB, in Galveston in 1891. The award, recognizing outstanding service to the medical profession, to humanity, and honors the memory of Dr. Smith.
The 2011 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:
Charles W. “Bill” Bailey, Jr., MD, JD ’67, a plastic surgeon, third-generation physician, and past president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) who has taught anatomy, legal medicine, and plastic surgery and has served the medical profession in various state and national roles. Dr. Bailey has received numerous honors and awards, including the TMA’s C. Frank Webber, MD, Award for Outstanding Service to Medical Students. Dr. Bailey is a founder and current Vice President of Physicians Relations for Medicus Insurance Company.
Thomas B. Hancher, MD, FACP ’72, a board-certified physician of internal medicine and geriatrics who has devoted significant time to serving his hometown of Columbus, Texas, as physician, school board trustee, mayor, and director for a local bank. He is a past president of the Texas Medical Association and has served in a variety of roles in the TMA’s House of Delegates and Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Texas Academy of Internal Medicine and the American Geriatrics Society.
Edward V. Hannigan, MD ’70 (posthumously), a retired naval captain who practiced obstetrics and gynecology early in his career at U.S. Naval Hospitals in Guam; Bethesda, MD; and Great Lakes, IL, before returning to UTMB for a faculty position in 1977. Dr. Hannigan taught obstetrics and gynecology, gynecologic oncology, and radiation oncology. He held multiple professional and academic titles, published more than 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served on numerous UTMB committees, and received several awards from his superiors, peers, and various funding organizations. He established the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at UTMB, which now has graduates practicing across the nation.
Bernard F. Morrey, MD ’71, the emeritus chair of the Department of Orthopedics at Mayo Clinic who has served in many local and national orthopedic organizations as well as various specialty organizations within his field. He has been recognized on numerous occasions for his research contributions; he holds seven patents for orthopedic devices and has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed publications as well as 12 major textbooks that have been translated into five languages. Dr. Morrey holds multiple professional academic titles and is the personal orthopedic surgeon to former President George H. W. and Mrs. Barbara Bush.