MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ronald L. Gross, M.D., professor and chair of the West Virginia University Department of Ophthalmology, has been named recipient of the Jane McDermott Shott Chair in Ophthalmology in the WVU School of Medicine.

Originally from Huntington, Dr. Gross graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and earnGross-Ronald.jpged his medical degree at WVU in 1982. He completed internship and residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a glaucoma fellowship at the Jefferson Medical College and Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. After serving as the Clifton R. McMichael Chair in Ophthalmology at Baylor, Gross joined the faculty at WVU in 2013.

“Dr. Gross, a native West Virginian, has had a stellar career as one of the world’s preeminent glaucoma specialists, as well as a respected leader in the field of academic ophthalmology,” Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, said. “His return to his roots assures that the advanced care and outstanding education and research the WVU Eye Institute has become known for will continue to grow and impact even more positively the residents of our state and beyond.”

The endowed chair, honoring the wife of former Bluefield newspaper publisher Hugh Ike Shott, Jr., was funded with a $1 million gift from the Hugh Ike Shott Foundation. The inaugural holder of the chair was George W. Weinstein, M.D., former chair of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology.

Shott, a 1923 graduate of WVU, was personally acquainted with the tragedy of blindness from experience in his own family. Shott’s wife Jane, for whom the chair was named, was blind due to deterioration of optic nerves, and her mother, Louise Maclean McDermott, was blind at the time of her death after suffering with cataracts. Shott’s father, founder of the Daily Telegraph, was himself impaired by cataracts and eventually lost his sight.

Shott’s purpose in endowing this chair was best summarized at the time of the gift announcement in October 1986: “I know from intimate personal experience the terrible effects of blindness, which are compounded when the loss of sight strikes those with a great love of the written word. I hope my gift to the WVU School of Medicine will help to save others from the same fate.”

“I am honored to have been chosen to serve as the Jane McDermott Shott Chair of Ophthalmology,” Gross said. “One of the reasons that we have top-notch care here at WVU is because of families such as the Shott family. Our goal is to serve all West Virginians, and the Shott endowment helps us to meet that goal.”
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ts: 04-21-14