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William, '54, MD '57, and Robert McIvor, '52, MD '55

Stanford medical alumni William (left) and Robert McIvor created a lasting legacy through their estate plans to support students.

Brothers Leave a Legacy for Research and Education

William, '54, MD '57, and Robert McIvor, '52, MD '55, support Stanford School of Medicine. 

Summer 2013

In the future, physicians and scientists hope to use genetic information to diagnose, treat, prevent, and cure many illnesses. Deeper insights into genetics will lead to better understanding of how your body works and what is happening when something goes wrong, leading to more effective medicines and treatments.

That concept is an important motivation for William McIvor, '54, MD '57, a retired orthopaedist, and a longtime donor to research in the genetics of mood disorders like depression, bipolar disease, and schizophrenia.

"I think genetics holds the key to dramatically improving how we treat psychiatric diseases," he says.

He and his brother, Robert McIvor, '52, MD '55, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, have named Stanford as a beneficiary in their retirement plans. In addition, both brothers have been making annual gifts from their retirement plans through IRA charitable rollovers.

Robert established the Loran Chandler McIvor Scholarship in honor of his late wife to provide financial support to medical students with an interest in athletics or music. "I was fortunate that my father was able to afford my medical tuition, and I wanted to help students who were not as fortunate financially," he says. "I also wanted to encourage students with outside interests because I think it adds to a doctor's ability to take care of his patients."

The two have fond memories of their years at Stanford and were inspired to create a heritage for the next generation of doctors. "When I went to med school Stanford was still located in San Francisco. I remember the teaching as being practical and ethical, and clinically focused," says William. "Those are important aspects of training and practice."

While at Stanford, the brothers were involved in sports as well as medicine. Robert was a Golden Gloves boxing champion, and William was a champion swimmer, winning four Golden Gate swims and setting the record for swimming to Alcatraz and back. "I won pretty much everything for four years," William says.

These days he's still active, despite a shoulder replacement, taking long bike rides and competing in ballroom dancing. Robert spent many years driving a tractor-trailer loaded with hay from his ranch in Nevada, and now travels around Northern California doing reports for workers' compensation claims. He also stays busy playing golf and tennis, and sings bass with Verismo Opera.

"I received a good education at Stanford and have many great memories," Robert adds. "Supporting medical students is a way to return something back to Stanford and perpetuate opportunities for the next generation."

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