JACKSON, Miss. – University of Mississippi alumnus James M. Brock has made a planned gift to the Arthur C. Guyton Research Center at the University’s Medical Center. Brock and Guyton were friends and classmates at Ole Miss and later roommates at Harvard Medical School.
“Arthur Guyton was an outstanding individual,” Brock said. “He was a great guy and I feel privileged to have known him and to have called him a friend. That’s why I wanted make a gift to Ole Miss in his name.”
Brock, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1941 and a medical certificate in 1942, both from UM, was a year behind Guyton in school. He remembers his friend as a hard-working student with a passion for learning and inventing.
“He was so intelligent and industrious,” Brock said. “He was working on the motorized wheelchair at the time we were in school.”
Guyton, an Oxford native, did indeed complete his prototype and is credited with the invention of the electric wheelchair. He also broke ground in hypertension research and wrote the Textbook of Medical Physiology, the famous cornerstone textbook used in physiology classrooms today. Guyton chaired the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Medical School for 34 years. He died in 2003. His father, Billy S. Guyton, an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, was also dean of the two-year medical school, then located on the Oxford campus.
The Guyton Research Center houses the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, the Center for Excellence in Cardiovascular-Renal Research and researchers in other fields, including cancer, obesity and metabolic diseases.
“We are grateful for the support from Dr. Brock,” said Dan Jones, vice chancellor for health affairs. “This expression of his appreciation for Dr. Guyton and the university allows us to add to the Guyton legacy with continued research excellence.”
Brock’s support for the center is unique in that it comes in the form of a Charitable Remainder Annuity, which allows for annuity payments to the donor for life, and provides significant tax benefits.
“This special gift benefits Ole Miss and Dr. Brock, who has been a wonderful supporter of our university, said Sandra Guest, vice president of the UM Foundation. “We are grateful for his generosity to the Guyton Research Center and his loyalty to Ole Miss.”
Brock, a McComb native, left Harvard Medical School before finishing his degree due to contracting rheumatic fever. After a lengthy recovery, Brock earned his medical degree from Tulane University and later did his dermatological training at Tulane and Louisiana State University. He opened the Brock Skin Clinic in McComb 60 years ago and still practices there six days a week.
Following in his footsteps, four of Brock’s five children earned degrees from Ole Miss, and his son James Brock Jr. is also a medical doctor.
Besides practicing medicine, Brock plays the trombone in “Dr. Jim’s One More Time Band” and also in a professional jazz trio based out of New Orleans. He says he fell in love with playing jazz as a student when he played in the Ole Miss dance band, the Mississippians.
Brock’s gift is part of the university’s MomentUM Campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. Funds raised through the campaign will support scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and a new law school on the Oxford campus. Also in the plans are a cancer center at the Medical Center and a new building to house the School of Pharmacy, both in Jackson.
For more information on making a gift to the University of Mississippi, visit http://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift.
Story by Sonia Thompson