Program ceremony honors donors

Each year, the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Anatomy Bequest Program receives more than 170 bodies for medical research from donors around the state. Students and staff honored those individuals who donated their bodies to the UniversityâÄôs Medical School Tuesday at the Ted Mann Concert Hall. The annual ceremony featured speeches and musical performances by students and faculty affiliated with the program. Even students that were in the program that didnâÄôt perform were recorded in a video tribute to honor the donors they worked on. The event is put on by students in the medical school, and one student, Nadia Maccabee-Ryaboy , helped put together the ceremony because she said she appreciated those who donated themselves to the medical school. âÄúI just felt a real desire to give thanks to the families,âÄù she said. âÄúWeâÄôre so grateful to see all of these families coming out.âÄù David Lee , director of the Anatomy Bequest Program, said that the family members appreciate the service. âÄúFamily members will often say thank you to our students as well for what that meant to them,âÄù Lee said. Charlotte Knapek and her two daughters said they appreciated the ceremony. KnapekâÄôs husband wanted to donate to the medical school long before he died. âÄúMy husband and I talked about donating our bodies in 1974,âÄù she said. âÄúNow, coming to the event, I realize how important it is.âÄù KnapekâÄôs daughter, Christine Pearson, graduated from the UniversityâÄôs Medical School in 1988. âÄúEvery piece had significance, but in an uplifting way,âÄù she said. âÄúIt was a beautiful ceremony.âÄù Lee said even though the program is mainly intended for students, staff, and friends and family of the donors, other people attend as well. âÄúThere are potential donors or future donors that come to the program as well because itâÄôs not uncommon for families to have multiple individuals who would be donors,âÄù he said. Anatomy Bequest Program Assistant Director Angela McArthur said the 15-year-old ceremony always does something different. âÄúEach year, the new memorial service planning committee takes from the previous year and adds to it,âÄù she said. Peter Haugen, whose uncle was donated to the Medical School, said he thought the program was âÄúvery well done.âÄù âÄúIt was really important for him to know that he could be studied,âÄù Haugen said, referring to his uncle. âÄúI think what makes it special is that itâÄôs put on by the students themselves.âÄù