News Release

May 23, 2008

Contact: Chris DeFrancesco, 860-679-3914

Scholarship Fund Honors Retiring Medical School Dean

Deckers Recognized for His Work Leading UConn Health Center

FARMINGTON, CONN. – A fund that supports scholarships and student programming at the University of Connecticut Health Center is attracting donations to honor the noted cancer surgeon who created the fund, and who has also led the institution through transformative growth.

This summer, Peter J. Deckers, M.D., of Avon will step down from his positions of executive vice president for health affairs at the UConn Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine. He will continue to see patients at the Health Center.

Private gifts to honor his work will support the Peter J. and Barbara A. Deckers Student Academic Enhancement Endowment Fund at the University of Connecticut Foundation. The fund, established by a gift from the couple in 2000, supports student scholarships, student-run research projects, and numerous other efforts at the UConn Health Center that Deckers believes contribute to a strong medical education for the next generation of physician-researchers.

Deckers says that support for today’s medical students, either through scholarships or by encouraging them to conduct research, plays a vital role for the future of medicine.

“Becoming involved in research turns students on to the potential and promise of academic medicine, and develops a continuous interest in discovery,” he says. “The higher the level of intellectual curiosity you can create in a medical system, the better the care will be.”

Over the course of his four decades as a physician, Deckers has earned a national reputation as an outstanding breast cancer surgeon. During his more than 20 years in top leadership positions at the UConn Health Center, Deckers has led the institution to the forefront of innovative and responsive undergraduate and graduate medical education; introduced and expanded regional clinical services, including an increasingly excellent reputation for cancer, cardiology and musculoskeletal care and research; and cemented the institution’s dedication to its core missions of biomedical education, basic science research, health care delivery and public service.

Those interested in contributing to the Deckers Fund should contact Wendy Lux of the UConn Foundation, at 860-679-1122 or Donations to the fund also may be made online at:


The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation established to solicit, receive, and administer gifts and financial resources from private sources for the benefit of all campuses and programs of the University of Connecticut. The Foundation operates exclusively to promote UConn’s educational, scientific, cultural, and recreational objectives. As the primary fundraising vehicle to solicit and administer private gifts and grants that will enhance the university’s mission, the Foundation supports the university’s pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and public service.

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