Farewell to ‘The Giff’
Bob Gifford the deputy dean, Bob Gifford the teacher, Bob Gifford the husband and father, and Bob Gifford the teammate were on display the night of Oct. 31 when hundreds of people turned out to say farewell to Bob Gifford the friend. At a buffet dinner in Harkness Lounge, students, alumni, faculty and family laughed over remembrances of Gifford’s years at Yale, which started 33 years ago when he arrived to complete his residency. Former Dean Leon E. Rosenberg, M.D., recounted how Gifford pushed the school’s educational agenda and how he, Gifford and others became the first faculty members to participate in the Second-Year Show. Current student and hockey teammate Michael Fehm joked about Gifford’s transfer of aggressive hockey moves from the ice to the bedside. Gifford’s son Bruce told how his father dissuaded him and his three siblings from smoking at an early age—by letting them try it. Dean David Kessler amused the crowd with anecdotes about Gifford’s time at Yale. “Where did he get these stories?” Gifford wondered aloud. Although he no longer has an administrative post at the medical school, Gifford remains a fixture on campus, frequently sighted at lunch with students or at faculty functions.