2005 Distinguished Alumnus award

Dr. William Benitz

Dr. William Benitz

Dr. William Benitz has blazed an amazing trail from his beginnings in the small town of Petersburg, Alaska. Benitz graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks summa cum laude in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He earned an MD at the Stanford School of Medicine in 1978. Benitz served at the Stanford School of Medicine as a resident in pediatrics from 1978-1981, then chief resident from 1981-1982 and later a postdoctoral fellow in the division of neonatal and developmental medicine.

Benitz joined the faculty at the medical school in 1985 and became a full professor in 1999. He is renowned for his work in neonatology where his area of expertise is infections in newborn children. Benitz also heads the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Nursery System and is the associate chief of the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Stanford's School of Medicine. His research has resulted in 52 published papers, 23 books or chapters in books, many abstracts and editorials and two patents. Benitz has been recognized multiple times as one of the best doctors in California. He was also recognized in 1997 and 2003-2004 as one of the best doctors in America and in 2002-2003 as one of America's top pediatricians. In 2003 he was awarded the first Philip Sunshine MD, Professor of Neonatology endowed chair at Stanford.

Although Benitz has had an extraordinary career he has never forgotten about his alma mater. He established a memorial scholarship fund in honor of Jack Distad, his mentor and one of his favorite mathematics professors at UA, and he supports the UAF mathematics department.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. William Benitz, a man who has made healing children his number one priority.

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