When Wayne Terry, Ph.D., joined the staff of DMU, it was located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Des Moines. Larry Marquardt, M.L.S., came on board years before “online journals” were a library staple. Both individuals concluded their tenure at DMU on June 30, but their impact on campus and its graduates will long continue.
In a recent two-hour session in the Student Education Center (SEC) Auditorium, Wayne Terry, Ph.D., asked a student to don clunky gloves and goggles that mimicked cataracts and then try to thread a needle to sew on a button. He had another student portray a nursing home staff member who had to persuade a stroke victim to eat, without resorting to force-feeding.
The session ended with student applause and Terry’s standing reminder: “Don’t forget to call your grandparents.”
The professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, who retired June 30 after nearly 35 years at the University, is clearly passionate about geriatrics. Adviser to the DMU Geriatrics Club for more than 20 years, he played a key role in growing DMU’s Senior Health Fair, where people ages 50-plus can get age-appropriate information and screenings. The free annual event now draws hundreds to numerous booths in the SEC.
Terry is also ardent about the excellence and success of his students.
“When I served as physiology coordinator, I had the rule that if you fail an exam, you had to talk to me before you could take the next one. Students hated that,” he says. “But the role of advising students is as important as teaching and research. Students need someone they can talk to and a place to vent. They need someone to advocate for them.”
Terry’s tough love approach, many alumni say, got them through medical school.
“As a student, you want someone to tell you the way it is. Dr. Terry didn’t want us to be mediocre doctors,” says Julia Asner, D.O.’05, a family practitioner with Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. “His door was always open.”
Asner learned that early on as a DMU student.
“We were studying for the physiology exam – those were killer – and when we got to Dr. Terry’s respiratory section, we were banging our heads against the wall,” she recalls about an intense study session with friend and classmate Magdalen Stepek. “We decided to go talk with him. He was so nice and approachable. He was totally not like his exams. We both ended up doing well.”
As coordinator of a course on advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), Terry handpicked eight or nine students per year to join him as instructors, teaching both fellow students and local physicians.
“That was pretty intimidating for a first- or second-year medical student, teaching doctors who’ve been practicing for years,” says Kevin Rahner, D.O.’95, one of Terry’s ACLS instructors who’s now in family practice at Mercy Johnston (IA) Medical Center. “But he’d say, ‘If they’re doing it wrong, tell them they’re doing it wrong.’ He gave me the confidence that I could be a doctor.”
That was a gift Terry gave to many students. Andrea Weed, D.O.’91, M.B.A., FACOI, was just 20 when she enrolled at DMU; she went on to become one of his ACLS instructors and president of student government who ranked near the top of her class.
“I think there was a lot of concern whether ‘this kid’ could hack it. He was my adviser, and I took advantage of that,” says Weed, who practices internal medicine with Tumbleweed Medical Group in Carson City, NV. “He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
Students are what Terry cherishes most among his DMU memories. “Sometimes we’d think, ‘Where did we get that one, and what are we going to do with him?’” he jokes. “And the bottom line is they all turned out great. Our students are our lifeblood, our future. My advisees – they’ve got me forever.”
When Edward “Pat” Finnerty, Ph.D., joined the DMU faculty in 1983, the University’s library was smaller than that of just the academic department at his previous institution. Housed in a nearly windowless floor of the Academic Center, the library lacked resources, space and user appeal.
“When Larry says he’s worked to build a library with more resources, that’s an understatement,” says the physiology and pharmacology professor.
Finnerty was describing Larry Marquardt, M.L.S., who came to DMU as a librarian in 1986 and, from 1993 to his retirement this June, served as library director and assistant professor. During those 26-plus years, he led transformation of the DMU Library from its card-catalog days to its current offerings of more than 1,000 electronic books, access to 9,000-plus full-text electronic journals, 26,000 medical books, 30,000 bound journals and wide variety of online databases and other resources.
“The development of the library over the years has only been as a result of his enduring desire to have a real comprehensive tool for the students, faculty and community,” says Victor Kaylarian, D.O., FACP, professor emeritus of internal medicine.
Marquardt’s enduring impact on DMU includes development of a new library on the second floor of the Student Education Center (SEC), which opened in 2005. Spacious and well-lit with its floor-to-ceiling windows, the library offers a variety of study spaces, from carrels to comfy chairs to small conference rooms.
In his meticulous work with the library architects, Marquardt strove to shape the facility in response to student surveys. “He’s so passionate about providing space for every student, whether they want it super-quiet or want to work in groups,” says Elizabeth Mellott, D.O.’15, a library student assistant.
While leading the library from the pre-Internet age to an era of instant information access, Marquardt also advocated for an archive.
“Larry has always been committed to honoring the past,” says Professor Kendall Reed, D.O., FACOS, FACS. The library archive, named the Kendall Reed Rare Book Room at the request of past DMU president and now Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, is a temperature-controlled room that houses historical documents about the University, personal papers from past faculty members and volumes on the evolution of medicine through the centuries.
Marquardt, who in 2011 was appointed by Governor Branstad to a four-year term on the Iowa Commission of Libraries, also engineered the selection of the DMU Library as a resource library by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Part of the National Institutes of Health, NLM makes available a vast collection of print and electronic resources. The DMU Library has hosted several NLM traveling exhibitions on topics ranging from African Americans in Civil War medicine to the roots of Harry Potter in Renaissance magic, science and medicine.
At a June 27 campus reception in Marquardt’s honor, colleagues praised his integrity, thoughtfulness and service as library director as well as a member of many DMU committees. Marquardt expressed pride in achieving “one of the goals of every library director – to build a library.”
True to his character, he quickly added, “I couldn’t have done any of it without the library staff. I felt really fortunate to have the job that I had, because I loved it.”