Researcher Hutchison thrilled by honor

Jill Fisher

Cancer researcher Dorris J. Hutchison, a 1940 graduate, will return to Bowling Green this weekend to be inducted into Western’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

When Hutchison found out that she had been chosen, she was thrilled.

“I was on cloud nine,” Hutchison said. “I did not know a thing about it.”

Her extensive work in cancer research has been recognized nationally.

She has worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and was also a professor at Cornell University.

She has been a member of many medical associations, and has been president of the New York Society of Kentucky Women since 1988.

She has received many honors and awards including the Bronze Medal Award from the American Cancer Society in 1984. She is included in the book “Who’s Who in America.”

Donald Smith, director of Alumni Relations, said the honor is given to those who have had great success in their chosen field.

Hutchison was nominated by former President Dero Downing, who attended school with her.

“Dorris was a star pupil for Dr. L.Y. Lancaster,” Downing said. “Dr. Lancaster was a great teacher who had the highest expectations of his students. He recognized early on that she was one of those special people who was very bright and was unwavering in her commitment to get a good education.”

Downing described Hutchison as a gracious lady and a person whose achievements in science have become more and more acknowledged through the years.

Hutchison, who now lives in New York, completed her undergraduate degree at Western in 1940 as an honor student. She then earned a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1943. She received a doctorate from Rutger’s in 1949.

During her career, she held positions at Cornell University. She served as associate dean from 1978-87. She retired in 1990 as an emeritus professor.

In 1988, she was the L.Y. Lancaster Lecturer at Western.

Other honors include the Philippe Foundation Fellowship in 1959; and the Vassar College Faculty Fellowship in 1946.

Cornell University has created the Dr. Dorris J. Hutchison Graduate Fellowship at the university’s medical school.

She has many memories from her years here at Western, from the basketball players throwing frogs at her in Anatomy class to working on the Talisman yearbook staff.

“I have relived my life here at Western over and over,” Hutchison said.

Hutchinson is looking forward to coming back to Western. She said she’s bringing about 11 people with her.

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