Comments at My Retirement Reception on May 2, 2012
Dr. William P. Marley
In our business, one must be skilled; we need people who can read, write, calculate, think critically on-the-run, communicate effectively with each other and with patients, use technology effectively,
and make decisions that leave no room for error. This is the essence of what we do.
I am grateful for the opportunities and support that Marshall University has given me with my clinics and graduate program for the past 20 years. There is a saying that, “Things of quality have no fear of time.”
I hope my modest contributions to MU and the Tri State region are considered so.
A professor can wish for no finer legacy than his students and knowing that what they do is making a difference. My students have energized me and I will miss them greatly. They are succeeding, indeed they are excelling,
and becoming leaders in medicine and allied health as clinicians, scientists, and administrators. They have embraced the medical doctrine of Dr. Jonas Salk, who defined the essence of preventive and rehabilitative medicine
when he commented:
“We live on a sick planet that will become unmanageably sicker if we fail
to discover the instinctive wisdom and healing power within ourselves.”
As well, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who gave his life in service to the medical care of Africa,
observed that, “Physicians never really heal their patients as much as they awaken the
physician within them.” These are primary principles in our clinical exercise physiology
curriculum. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine and
one of America’s greatest scientists, years ago when he came to Philadelphia as a keynote
speaker to our preventive medicine conference.
My favorite writer is John Steinbeck, but, over the years, I have also come to admire the work
of Ernest Hemingway. And something he said during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech has
remained with me, “There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is
all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring.” Much of that time, with which I have paid
heavily, is usually the precious time reserved for family and friends. That must now change.
Beginning 52 years ago, I’ve been on the job at the University of Maryland, University of Toledo,
North Carolina State University, and, in Philadelphia, the Cardiovascular Research Unit of Lankenau Hospital,
Human Performance Center of Holy Redeemer Hospital & Medical Center, and The Rehabilitation Center of the
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Then, Dr. Don Williams called me in 1993 and asked,
“Are you ready to come back home to West Virginia?” And the rest is history. Thank you, Don.
As Professor Emeritus, I will continue to be involved in some projects, but my family now
becomes the primary focus. I love you all; thank you for being here. God bless. WPM