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School of Medicine fund established in memory of former associate dean

Monday, June 20, 2011
School of Medicine fund established in memory of former associate dean

Dr. William Miles once promised his wife he would never let her devotion to medical education and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine be forgotten.

And since Dr. Michele Raible’s death in June 2010, he has been fulfilling that vow.

Miles created the Dr. Michele D. Raible Fund for Medical Students in her memory with a $25,000 gift to the School of Medicine. Since then, individuals have donated an additional $11,000 to the fund.

Miles also has made a $100,000 planned gift to the school to further honor Raible’s legacy. The planned gift uses funds Raible inherited and passed on to Miles after her death.

“I am determined to keep my promise to her,” said Miles, assistant professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at Beaumont Hospitals.

Raible was 53 when she died due to complications from leukemia. Eighteen months earlier, she was launching a new career as a founding associate dean for the School of Medicine.

Raible was interested in going to the medical school as soon as she heard Dr. Robert Folberg was going to be the founding dean. Folberg was the head of pathology at University of Illinois at Chicago at the time, and Raible was deputy head for pathology education and director for the university’s pathology residency training program.

“We knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Miles says, adding both he and Raible had more than 10 years of experience in medical education. “Michele in particular wanted to work in medical school administration.”

She, Miles and their dogs made the move to Michigan and settled in Birmingham. Raible began to focus on developing the school of medicine’s curriculum.

In late 2009, however, she started feeling ill. She was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2010. “Ironically, that was her area of training,” Miles says. Raible specialized in hematology.

It was during her chemotherapy when Michele confided her fear of being forgotten to Miles. That was when he promised to keep her memory alive.

“I vowed the charter medical class and subsequent classes would know how hard she worked to design their curriculum,” Miles says. “And she did complete it.”

The School of Medicine stands behind Miles’ efforts on behalf of Raible, Folberg says. “While the gift to create the fund was Bill’s generosity, Bill’s vision, the school adopted that vision whole-heartedly.

“We will never forget Michele.”

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson