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A fond farewell to Dr. Cohen

by Rodney Tanaka

June 22, 2012

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Western University of Health Sciences held back-to-back celebrations Wednesday and Thursday, June 20 and 21, to bid a fond farewell to Benjamin L. Cohen, DO, WesternU’s longtime provost and the architect of the University’s recent expansion and addition of four colleges.

Dr. Cohen – who stepped down as provost in February 2012 and had been serving as an adviser to the president the past several months – announced his retirement in May.

On Wednesday, more than 100 friends, family, WesternU administrators and staff were on hand for a special retirement dinner held in the Health Professions Center Student Commons on the WesternU campus. Dr. Philip Pumerantz, president of WesternU and a longtime friend of Dr. Cohen’s bid him farewell by observing that his way of dealing with people “”is what humanism is all about.””

Dr. Thomas Fox, WesternU senior vice president and also a longtime colleague of Dr. Cohen’s, quoted legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice’s famous 1908 poem, “”Alumnus Football,”” in honoring his friend: “” ‘When the one great scorer comes to mark against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.’ As Dr. Benjamin L. Cohen goes into retirement, we wish to thank him for showing us how to play the game,”” Dr. Fox said.

Dr. Cohen also received several gifts, including tokens of appreciation from the colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Dental Medicine, a medal from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, a crystal bowl, and a rocking chair. A COMP scholarship will be established in his name, and in a proclamation from the WesternU Board of Trustees, he was named Provost Emeritus of the University.

Wednesday’s dinner was followed by a celebration on the West Esplanade of the WesternU campus on Thursday afternoon. As rock and roll classics played, hot dogs, funnel cake, candy and ice cream were served while Dr. Cohen mingled with WesternU staff during a casual farewell party.


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