The late Dr. R. Faser Triplett-the state's first board-certified allergist-immunologist and a founder of the Mississippi Allergy Clinic-is being remembered with a named faculty chair at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A recent gift in excess of $1 million from his family foundation caps off a $2 million funding campaign for the endowed position.
The R. Faser Triplett, M.D, Chair of Allergy and Immunology will pay tribute to the physician who built a legacy of care and service both to the people of Mississippi and to the university at large.
The Dr. and Mrs. R. Faser Triplett Foundation has committed the latest gift to complete funding for the chair, which was initially established by close to $1 million in gifts from individuals and organizations. Dr. Gailen Marshall, a professor of medicine and director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at UMMC, has been named the inaugural chair holder.
Triplett, who passed away in 2010, served as chair of the American Medical Association Political Action Committee and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the Mississippi State Medical Association and the Hinds County Medical Society as well as an array of corporate boards.
The Louisville, Miss., native earned an undergraduate at Ole Miss before studying at the UM School of Medicine and ultimately completing his medical degree at Tulane University. His extensive training included fellowships in pediatric allergy and in immunology and service in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon.
"My dad was very proud of the Triplett Chair of Allergy and, as he had devoted more than 35 years of his life practicing allergy," said R. Faser "Chip" Triplett Jr. "My siblings-Diane Holloway, Suzy Fuller, Liz Walker and Lou Ann Woidtke- and I knew that the first funds we wanted to grant from the foundation would be directed to this chair. We were inspired to know this would help ensure Mississippians will have access to future allergists trained at UMMC."
Dr. Marshall, the holder of the chair, and Dr. Triplett had trained under Dr. Lloyd Crawford in Memphis. "It is our hope that Dr. Marshall continues the excellence in training that they both were given by Dr. Crawford. Education was one of the items at the top of Dad's priority list. He really liked to learn new things and believed education enables individuals to be successful in life," the son continued.
Faser Triplett served as president of the UM Medical Alumni Association and the Ole Miss Alumni Association and as a member of the UM Foundation Board of Directors. The Triplett Alumni Center on the Oxford campus was named in honor of this longtime major supporter and his wife, Jackie. The physician was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in.
"It is not easy to adequately describe my dad's feelings toward Ole Miss and the Medical Center," Chip Triplett said. "Faser felt like so many things he was able to do in his lifetime were a direct result of the education he received and the friends he made on the Oxford and Medical Center campuses. If you ever met Dad, you would quickly know of his love for the two. He was so proud of his University of Mississippi degree and of the Medical Center's accomplishments that any time he traveled outside Mississippi, he took the opportunity to voice his affection and respect for the two institutions."
Faser and Jackie Triplett established their foundation, with the couple's five children as directors. UM Chancellor Dan Jones voiced his appreciation for the family's gift as well as for their philanthropic values.
"Faser Triplett was a gifted, respected physician who had a deep commitment to providing specialized health care services for those who live in Mississippi and beyond," the chancellor said. "We deeply appreciate the Tripletts and others who have made this named faculty chair possible, impacting the training of future physicians. It is also a tribute to Faser and Jackie Triplett that they passed on their strong belief in improving the lives of others to their children and grandchildren."
Chip Triplett described the philosophy behind the family foundation.
"My parents' intent was to see the majority of their wealth go to non-profit organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. They felt as though they had raised their children and provided educational opportunities and enough material possessions to live and thrive in this world. My parents also knew for the Triplett Foundation to be effective, their children would have to meet each year to determine where the funds would go. All of us are very close, but this foundation work is their way of encouraging us to stay in touch and communicate for many years to come.
"One of the values my parents instilled in my siblings and me is that it is better to give than to receive," Triplett said. "My father and mother have enabled their children to continue to give to worthy causes and institutions. We look forward to seeing others benefit from the funds our parents have put into this foundation for many years to come."
The R. Faser Triplett, M.D., Chair of Allergy and Immunology is open to receive gifts from individuals and organizations. Those interested can contact Sara Merrick, executive director and chief development officer for the Medical Center, at 601-984-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.givetoumc.com.