BGSU summer commencement


(Updated) Though it has been more than three decades since Distinguished Alumnus Dr. W. Patrick Monaghan
graduated from Bowling Green State University, those years have not dimmed the incredible opportunity he
experienced there which led to a lifetime of service in the health care field.
Monaghan, a dual professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Florida College of
Medicine as well as the School of Nursing at the University of North Florida College of Health, was
BGSU’s commencement speaker Saturday morning to almost 1,200 summer graduates.
His long-standing relationship with BGSU began in the 1970s when he earned a master of science in
immunology in 1972 and a doctorate in biology in 1975.
Like many of the mortar-board wearing students in his audience, Monaghan said he “wanted to get on with
my life and professional career” when he graduated. The U.S. Navy had sponsored his attendance at BGSU
as a result of the unusual program of affiliation between BGSU and the U.S. Army Medical Research
Laboratory in Fort Knox, Ky., including its Blood Bank Fellowship.
Monaghan briefly shared the strong influence on his life of Dr. Charles Leone, former Dean of the
Graduate School, plus the late Dr. William Hann and the late Dr. James Graham, professors in the Biology
He credited Leone and Hann, both high-ranking officers in the U.S. Army Reserves, with envisioning “the
opportunity to mesh together BGSU with the Blood Bank Fellowship training and provide appropriate
graduate degrees to those military officers who completed both programs of study. These two visionary
educators and officers made it happen.”
While Monaghan noted over the next 14 years about 60 military officers completed both programs, he
himself was the first student to receive his Ph.D. through the partnership program. BGSU had
incorporated the military’s Blood Bank Fellowship training program into its curriculum which required
stringent course work and intensive training. After that, military blood bank students, like Monaghan,
were recognized as true specialists and could use their credits as part of a graduate degree program,
earning their doctorates as well, which he did.
In addition, Monaghan said he was fortunate to strike up a friendship with Graham who was doing research
in leukemia. “I became his graduate student and often traveled back and forth to Toledo (Medical College
of Ohio), throughout the next few years, acquiring bone marrow samples to study in our tissue culture
techniques here at BGSU.”
Dr. Graham himself died of leukemia, but Monaghan told the graduates, “You may be interested in knowing
that several of the cytokines that Dr. Graham was working with … were later developed into actual
medications currently used to treat a variety of hematological diseases.”
With the death of Graham, he credited Leone and Hann who “stepped in and assisted me in completing all of
my studies, and I was able to graduate with my advanced degree. Since that time I have been actively
involved in performing clinical research and providing graduate and postgraduate education to health
care scientists, physicians and advance practice nurses.”
In answer to his own question, what does all this mean, Monaghan stated, “It is a testimony to this
wonderful institution that forward-thinking faculty and staff were located here. That visionary
professors and educational administrators had to be present and receptive to new ways of providing
graduate education and conducting laboratory experiments. Dr. Hann, Dr. Graham and Dr. Leone actually
did that.”
Monaghan concluded his brief address by reminding the graduates of the responsibilities that came with
their diplomas: “You are the stewards for educating and training the generations that will follow; you
are the solution to many of the current societal ills or problems; and you are the teachers, business
leaders and professionals of our future.”
Photo Caption: Trevor Nash, of Jamaica, raises his hands in celebration during summer graduation
ceremonies at BGSU. Nash graduated from the school of journalism. The ceremony which is traditionally
held outside had to be moved indoors due to the weather. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

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