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Helen Boucher, M.D., ’86 Remarks: Fauci Dedication Ceremony

June 11th, 2022 by 

Helen Boucher '86, dean ad interim for Tufts University School of Medicine, chief academic officer for Tufts Medicine and incoming chair of the Holy Cross board of trustees, speaks at the Integrated Science Complex during a ceremony dedicated to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci '62 Hon '87 on June 11, 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Holy Cross)

Helen Boucher, M.D., ’86, dean ad interim for Tufts University School of Medicine, chief academic officer for Tufts Medicine and incoming chair of the Holy Cross board of trustees:

Thank you, Margaret. I’m delighted and very honored to be here on this historic day as we celebrate our fellow Crusader, Dr. Tony Fauci. Like Tony, I am an infectious disease physician — a formerly obscure medical specialty recently thrust into the global headlines by the pandemic.

Before I was a physician, I was an English major at Holy Cross. So, I love a good story. Tony’s would go something like this: Educated by the Jesuits at Regis in New York and here at Holy Cross, he remains unfailingly committed to serving others. Upon graduating from Cornell Medical School, he assumed a position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was promoted to director in 1984, and never left. He has led our nation’s infectious disease response for nearly 40 years. In this role, he led efforts to treat a number of emerging infections, from HIV/AIDS to Zika to COVID-19 and to understand how the immune system responds to infection.

In addition to infectious diseases, Tony’s work advanced the field of rheumatology. He developed life-saving therapies for several formerly fatal inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases. Tony’s scientific contributions are myriad — he’s among the most cited living researchers in any specialty — and he’s been recognized with many honors. His work in establishing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, and leading our nation’s response to COVID, including his work on the mRNA vaccine, saved millions of lives around the world. Throughout all this, Tony always takes time to speak with and mentor colleagues, especially junior colleagues, and to support the efforts of our professional society in advocating for the next generation. We are forever indebted to him for his creative, unwavering, and brave leadership of the ongoing pandemic, and the many crises he has managed or averted in the years prior.

Where our two stories intersect, beyond infectious disease, is our love for Holy Cross, and our belief in the very kind of outstanding education we offer here. Intellectual rigor, learning to discern in the face of ambiguity, and developing the ability to communicate clearly and concisely all characterize the Holy Cross education. Tony also lives the Jesuit mandates of care for the whole person, a commitment to social justice, and a responsibility to the marginalized among us every day.

Today we celebrate that pride and purpose. We celebrate the College and its promising future — a future in which I will be enormously proud to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

And we celebrate one of our own … Dr. Anthony Fauci. Thank you, and now it’s my pleasure to introduce Vincent D. Rougeau, the 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross.

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