UpdateTribute to Founding Faculty Member
Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer, MD, PhD
Provided by NEAL HINKLE
His Last Lecture
Final words spoken about a beloved School of Medicine founding faculty member reflect a life well-lived and well-loved.

In Room 150 of the Academic Classroom Building, a larger than life portrait of Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer, MD, PhD, (Medicine ’77) rests next to the lectern. You could almost hear his boisterous laugh as fond memories of him were shared by those who called him colleague, mentor and friend.

Lutherer died Feb. 5, 2020. He joined the School of Medicine in 1972 as a founding faculty member to teach physiology and concurrently pursued his medical degree, with many of his students becoming his classmates. He worked as passionately at developing governance and representation for the faculty as he did in teaching. Luther began a second career at TTUHSC in 2010 as the founding director of the Clinical Research Institute and served as its executive director until his retirement in 2017.

If you ever met Lutherer, most likely you never forgot him. He had an easy way of welcoming people into a world void of a caste system. His world.

“There was an authenticity when you met him; what you see is what you get — almost to a fault,” said Tom McGovern, PhD, EdD, professor emeritus of psychiatry in the School of Medicine. “But he was always honest, upfront and would tell you straight if he agreed with you or not.”

The many stories and accolades shared about Lutherer carry a common thread. He loved a long conversation, was a fierce competitor in soccer, softball and poker, and he championed the virtues of fairness and justice.

But his legacy is a deep respect and love for people.

Louis Roddy, MD, (Medicine ’76) and I spoke by phone a few days before the memorial. He first met Lutherer as a student in his physiology class, and they became lifelong friends. Very few professors can manage a relationship with students in the way Lutherer did. “He just had a unique ability to take off his professorial hat and become one of the guys,” Roddy said. “That’s a very unique talent that I’ve had trouble doing in my teaching career. It was just different with him.”

Lutherer’s accolades were many; but so was his mark on the university.

“You know, there are certain people that you meet who just become part of your life,” said Roddy. “And when they are gone, you will always miss them. That was Laurie.” – Danette Baker

Louis Roddy, MD, (Medicine ‘76) and Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer, MD, PhD
Louis Roddy, MD, (Medicine ‘76) and Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer, MD, PhD, (Medicine ‘77) forged a lifelong friendship after meeting at TTUHSC.
Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer and other founding faculty of physiology
Lorenz “Laurie” Lutherer, MD, PhD, (Medicine ‘77) was a founding faculty member in physiology (pictured above).