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Alumni Weekend 2018



On the weekend of October 19–20, 2018, alumni descended on Jefferson’s campus for a weekend of reminiscing and refreshment. Through campus tours, meet-and-greets, and reunion events, they got a chance to see what’s changed and observe all that’s stayed the same. Reviews are in and the weekend has officially been declared a success!

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2018 Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Joseph R. Berger, MD ‘74, FACP, FAAN, FANA


Joseph R. Berger, MD ‘74, FACP, FAAN, FANA, is professor of Neurology and co-director of the Multiple Sclerosis Division at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

He held the Whigham-Berger Endowed Chair for the study of the neurological complications of HIV/AIDS, the first endowed chair for studies of this kind, while on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Throughout his career, Berger has been a leader in numerous professional organizations, co-founding and chairing the Neuroscience of HIV Meeting—the first international conference on the neurological complications of HIV—and establishing the Commonwealth Neurological Society for neurologists in the state of Kentucky. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Neurology, and American Neurological Association.

Berger has a long-standing interest in international health and was one of the founding members of People-to-People, an organization for HIV/AIDS care and education in East Africa.

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Donald Liu, MD ‘90, PhD (1962–2012)


The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2017 to honor alumni posthumously for a lifetime of achievement, for contributions to their profession or field, and for service to the community and to humanity at large.

Donald Liu, MD ’90, PhD (1962–2012), was section chief of pediatric surgery and surgeon-in-chief at University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) Comer Children’s Hospital.

Liu’s substantial body of work spans many areas of medical practice, including minimally invasive surgery, the human microbiome, and surgical treatment of intestinal disease. He helped develop a formal affiliation between Comer Children’s Hospital and Shanghai Children’s Medical Center through Project HOPE. The collaboration trained numerous international fellows who have become institutional leaders in China. For his efforts, he was honored with an endowed chair at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

His colleague John Alverdy, MD, vice chair of surgery at UCM, said of Liu, “If you were a baby’s mother, this is the doctor you would want to care for your child from beginning to end. He was compassionate, funny, unquestionably competent—one of the best in the field.”

In 2012, Liu drowned while rescuing two boys caught in rough waves in Lake Michigan. He lost his life doing what he loved, what he did nearly every day since graduating from Jefferson: saving kids.