President Warshaw, it is my distinct privilege to present to you and this assembly Prof. William B. Coman of Brisbane, Australia, a “Renaissance surgeon” who has been the principal thought leader in Australian otolaryngology for nearly 40 years, for consideration of Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.
Professor Coman was a world-class rugby and cricket player at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, where he completed his undergraduate studies. He stayed there for medical school and then pursued postgraduate surgical training in several venues including London, U.K., and Edinburgh, Scotland. He returned to Australia and served as chairman of otolaryngology at the University of Queensland for 37 years.
In that time, Professor Coman was called upon to serve as president of the Cartesian Society, president of the Australian Society of Otolaryngology, and chairman of the Australian Board of Otolaryngology, among many other responsibilities. He is notable in having established an international reputation in all major domains of otolaryngology, including funded research into ear diseases specific to the Aboriginal population of Australia, investigation into the molecular behavior of head and neck cancer, and elucidation of mechanisms of swallowing disorders.
His achievements were recognized by honorary membership in the Royal College of Surgeons and the Hughes medal from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons; he also is one of only 11 individuals ever to receive honorary membership in the prestigious Triological Society in the U.S.
Professor Coman has been married to Mary for more than 50 years, and they have four lovely children—and, by the way, he has transitioned from rugby and cricket to snowskiing and golf, both of which he pursues at the youthful age of 77.
Dr. Warshaw, I am proud to present to you Professor William Coman. A true “connector” who is known for forging multidisciplinary international collaborations, he personifies all of the qualities that we look for in a friend, in a colleague, and in a leader. He is unambiguously deserving of the distinction of Honorary Fellow of our organization, and I am honored to present him.