D. Walter Cohen, DDS, chancellor emeritus of the College of Medicine, and former president and chancellor of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, died on June 29. He was 91.
Each year at Commencement, Dr. Cohen announced the recipient of the Maurice C. Clifford, MD, Leadership Award, the only student award presented during the ceremony.
Beloved teacher, mentor and inspiration to generations of students and faculty, Dr. Cohen became president of MCP in 1986, following a 35-year career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, including 11 years as dean.
During his tenure as MCP president, he was instrumental in adding the 15-acre Queen Lane Campus and led the endowment of 16 academic chairs and professorships. He was especially proud to have been a driving force behind the highly successful Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women (ELAM).
When Drexel took over management of the merged MCPHU School of Medicine, Cohen was a strong supporter. He served as a trustee of Drexel University College of Medicine from 2008 to 2014, when the College was brought under the Drexel board, and then served as a member of the College of Medicine Advisory Council.
Cohen created the Betty A. Cohen Endowed Chair in Women's Health at the College in honor of his late wife, as well as the D. Walter Cohen Endowed Fund and a lectureship. He was also a champion for Drexel's School of Public Health and the College of Nursing & Health Professions' 11th Street Family Health Services complex. He cared deeply about the Judaic Studies program at Drexel and was an early investor in the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life.
Cohen's contributions to dentistry, medicine and academics were recognized with numerous awards and honors from all over the world, including honorary degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Athens, the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg and Drexel University, among others. In 1990, Ambassador Walter Annenberg endowed the D. Walter Cohen Professorship and Chair in Periodontics at Penn Dental Medicine.
Cohen is survived by three children, Jane E. Millner, Amy Cohen and Dr. Joanne Cohen Katz, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his partner, Claire Reichlin.