James Madara, CEO of American Medical Association to Deliver Commencement Address

(Posted March 3, 2012)

James Madara, chief executive officer of the American Medical Association, will deliver Juniata's Commencement address. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., May 12.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Dr. James Madara, an Bellwood, Pa. native and chief executive officer of the American Medical Association, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and deliver the commencement address at Juniata's 134th Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12 on the Juniata campus.

In addition, Timothy Statton, retired president of Bechtel Power Corporation and a former member of the board of directors of Bechtel Group Inc. until his retirement in 2009, and Henry H. Gibbel, chairman and chief executive officer of Lititz Mutual Insurance Co., will each receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the ceremony.

Dr. Madara, a 1971 Juniata College graduate, is a nationally known expert of epithelial cell biology and gastrointestinal disease and since 2011 CEO of the largest physicians association in the country.

As chief executive of the AMA, Madara oversees the medical association's efforts in improving public health, physician practice, patient care and the betterment of the American health care system. Before joining the association, Madara built a career as both a biomedical scientist and one of the nation's leading medical administrators at several nationally known university medical centers. He was chief executive officer of the University of Chicago Medical Center from 2006 to 2009. After assuming duties as CEO, he continued as a Distinguished Service Professor and dean at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, an appointment he had held since 2002.

From 1997 to 2002, Madara served as professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.

Madara started his academic career in 1980, after completing a research fellowship at Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 1978 to 1980. He became an instructor of pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1980. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1981, to associate professor in 1985 and was promoted to full professor in 1993. He received an honorary degree from Harvard in 1993. He left Harvard in 1997, where he served as director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center to become chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University.

Madara earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata in 1971 and went on to earn a medical degree in 1975 from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. (now the Drexel University College of Medicine). He served an internship and residency in pathology at New England Deaconess Hospital, in Boston, Mass., from 1976 to 1978.

He has received numerous awards: including the 2011 Horace W. Davenport Distinguished Lectureship Award, a lifetime achievement award from the American Physiological Society; named a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) in 2006; received the 2002 Astra Zeneca International Prize from the AGA for Distinguished Research in Digestive Diseases; and was named "Favorite Professor" three times between 2002 and 2009 by Pritzker medical students.

He has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Pathology, Human Pathology, Advances in Anatomic Pathology and Cellular Microbiology. He also was editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Pathology from 2000 to 2003.

He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Board of Pathology, the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society for Investigative Pathology, the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Association of Pathologists.

Henry H. Gibbel, chairman and chief executive officer of Lititz Mutual Insurance Co., in Lititz, Pa., and a former chair of the Juniata College Board of Trustees, is a 1957 Juniata graduate.

Gibbel served as chair of the Juniata board of trustees from 2001 to 2006 and received the John C. Baker Award for Exemplary Service from the board in 2006. Gibbel has served as a trustee since 1973. He also was president of the college's National Alumni Association. In 1992 he received the Juniata College Alumni Service Award. In 2005, he received Juniata's Church College Service Award.

Gibbel and his wife, Joan, sponsored in 2002 the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching, which recognizes excellence in teaching among faculty members who have been at Juniata College for fewer than six years. He also played a significant role in Juniata's most successful capital campaign, the Uncommon Outcomes Campaign, serving as co-chair of the Campaign for the Future. The Lititz resident was inducted into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He also was chair of the college's past two presidential search committees in 1985 and again in 1997.

Gibbel is a past chairman of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and secretary/treasurer and past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. He received the 1981 Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. In 1974 he received the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Merit Award and served as its chair in 1982. He is a director of the Mutual Aid Association of the Church of the Brethren and past chairman and director emeritus of the Brethren Village Retirement and Healthcare Community.

He is a member of the Lititz Church of the Brethren, director of the Mutual Aid Association of the Church of the Brethren and past chairman and director emeritus for the Brethren Village Retirement & Health Care Community. He is a retired director Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. Gibbel and his wife, Joan, have two daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren. His son, Henry R. Gibbel, graduated from Juniata in 1981.

Statton, a resident of Sonoma, Calif. and a Juniata trustee since 1998, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Statton graduated from Juniata in 1972 earning a bachelor's degree in business and earned another bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from San Francisco State University.

Statton joined the Bechtel Corporation shortly after graduating from Juniata. Bechtel is an international engineering, construction and development company that has built countless American and international projects including the Hoover Dam, the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France, Hong Kong International Airport and Washington's Metro and the San Francisco's BART rapid transit systems.

He was president of Bechtel Enterprises from 2001 to 2004, Bechtel Communications from 2004 to 2007 and Bechtel Power from 2007 until his retirement in 2009. During his career at Bechtel, Statton has worked both at the company's San Francisco headquarters and worked at several field assignments. He served as the managing director of Bechtel's Asia Pacific Operations in the early 1990s, setting up offices throughout the region. He served on several joint venture boards, including independent power producers and water/wastewater companies.

Currently he is serving on the college's Presidential Search Committee. In 2011, Statton spent a week as an "executive in residence" in Juniata's Department of Accounting, Business and Economics.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.