An image of Gordon Hall with the text " In Memoriam" above the building

Harvard Medical School has a special tradition of lowering the HMS flag atop the Gordon Hall of Medicine to half-staff in memory of current members of the HMS community. An email is sent from the dean of HMS to all members of the HMS community as a sign of respect and an expression of sympathy, acknowledging the colleague’s name, professional title, date of death, and age.

HMS also lowers the American flag to half-staff by proclamation from the president of the United States. This takes precedence over the lowering of the HMS flag.

The archive of half-staff memorials is included below by year, starting on July 1, 2021. Half-staff notices are facilitated by the Office for Faculty Affairs based on notifications received about deaths of current faculty, staff, or students.

Please note that half-staff memorials are reserved for current members of the HMS community, including students, Quad staff members, and faculty members holding the rank of lecturer, instructor, or assistant, associate, full, or emeritus professor. There is no formal protocol for HMS retirees or those who have left the HMS community for other reasons. Given the size of our current active HMS community—more than 11,000 faculty members (including emeritus professors), nearly 1,500 staff, and over 10,000 students and trainees—we are unable to accommodate additional requests for half-staff tributes beyond the protocols detailed above.


Following are the half-staff memorials from July 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021

September 8
William C. DeWolf
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Distinguished Professor of Surgery at HMS and Beth Israel Deaconess
Died May 24, 2021, age 78

August 31
Verne S. Caviness
Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Professor of Neurology, Emeritus, at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital
Died July 6, 2021, age 86

August 17
Airong Li
Assistant professor of neurology at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital
Died June 24, 2021, age 63

August 13
Larissa J. Lee
Associate professor of radiation oncology at HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Died June 23, 2021, age 44

August 10
Francisco M. Marty
Associate professor of medicine at HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Died April 8, 2021, age 53

August 6
G. Richard Dickersin
Associate professor of pathology, emeritus, at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital
Died March 11, 2021, age 93

July 29
Brooke Grundfest Schoepf
Corresponding member of the faculty of Global Health and Social Medicine
Died January 25, 2021, age 88