For more than 30 years, Warren Lawless has served as a vital link between Western University of Health Sciences and the Pacific Northwest. WesternU honored Lawless at a special family reunion held after COMP-Northwest’s Convocation and white coat ceremony Aug. 3, 2013 in Lebanon, Ore.

Lawless served 30 years as the WesternU Board of Trustees chairman. He retired from that role earlier this year and took on the title of Chairman Emeritus. He was succeeded by Richard Bond, DO ’82, DrPH, the first graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.

The Board and WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, presented Lawless with a proclamation honoring him as a “friend for life.” The proclamation stated in part:

“As a result of his entrepreneurial philosophy and personal leadership, WesternU has been a model of institutional and educational growth and impact, and is recognized for its outstanding graduates, its ongoing commitment to producing humanistic healers, and its many contributions to community health and health education.

“Mr. Lawless’ commitment to the University, its students, faculty and staff has had a profound and lasting impact on its campuses, its communities, and on health sciences education as a whole.”

The Board proclaimed Aug. 3 and Aug. 10, 2013 as “Warren Lawless Days” on the campuses of Western University of Health Sciences.

“I am overjoyed with this,” Lawless said. “I’ve always said when I get off the plane from Seattle to go to (WesternU) that I’m on the yellow brick road to the land of Oz, because it’s unbelievable what’s been accomplished there since Dr. Bond walked across the stage and got that first diploma. It really makes my heart pound a little bit.”

Lawless’ work in newspapers, advertising, printing and association management led to his serving as executive director of the Washington Osteopathic Medical Association. COMP’s founders reached out to all the Western states for support in creating a new osteopathic medical school, and Lawless represented support from Washington.

COMP has always served as a regional institution, reaching beyond its Southern California campus. This notion was reinforced first with the establishment of COMP’s Northwest Track and then the opening of the COMP-Northwest campus in Lebanon in 2011.

COMP Interim Dean and Vice President of Oregon Campus Operations Paula Crone, DO ’92, gathered several COMP alumni together to thank Lawless for his service. Lawless’ brother, sister, and several other family members also were in attendance.

“This is a very small representation of all you have accomplished with your leadership and the vision of yourself, the president and the Board of Trustees over the years,” Crone said. “On behalf of all of the alumni from WesternU, we’d like to say thank you. The education that we received at COMP allowed all of us to go forward into the world, create good lives for ourselves and our families, and to be able to do what we all love to do, which is to take care of our patients and to teach the next generation of students.”