When former Dean Leon E. Rosenberg, M.D., HS ’63, returned to Yale in May for the dedication of a lecture hall in his honor, it was very much a family affair. He was joined by his wife, brother, children and grandchildren, along with dozens of former colleagues, mentors and students. The family members traveled a distance, one of his sons suggested, because the family itself had come a long way.
Robert L. Rosenberg, Ph.D., pointed to the new sign above the door to Hope 110 bearing his father’s name. “Back in Waunakee, Wis., there was another sign that said ‘Rosenberg.’ It hung over the door of the general store my grandfather owned,” said the younger Rosenberg, who earned his doctorate at Yale in 1985 and is an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina. “Coming here today, I thought about what makes this one here as important and significant as that big one in Wisconsin. The answer, I think, comes down to the three most important words in real estate: location, location, location.”
It was an observation that provoked laughter as well as the realization that for others in the room, too, location was indeed key. Hope 110—where generations of medical students have attended countless lectures—is now The Leon E. Rosenberg, M.D., Lecture Room. “Within these walls, students will have their first classes, drink their coffee, read their newspapers and even fall asleep,” Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., said during the dedication. “Most importantly, they will establish friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Rosenberg joined the Yale faculty in 1965 and served as dean of the medical school from 1984 to 1991, when he left academia to head Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute. In 1998, he joined the faculty at Princeton.
The former dean said he was “grateful beyond words” for the tribute and particularly touched by the location chosen for the honor. “I’ve been on both sides of the podium in 110, many times, and I know what it means to the school and the thousands of students who have passed through it.”
He closed by recounting a comment that his son David made upon hearing that the room would be renamed in his father’s honor: “David said, ‘Just think, in 10 years, two Yale medical students will be passing in the hall and one will say, “I’ve got to get to class at 11 o’clock in Rosenberg.'" The former dean paused and smiled. “I wouldn’t have thought of it myself,” he said. “But it has a nice ring to it.”