In memoriam: Marion Rapp

Miss Rapp in 1955

Miss Rapp in 1955

Marion Rapp, former International Liaison for the American College of Surgeons (ACS), passed away November 24, 2011, at 91 years of age from colon cancer. Ms. Rapp began her lengthy career at the College in January 1953 as Personal Assistant to then College Director, Gen. Paul R. Hawley, MD, FACS (Hon). She actually accepted a salary cut in order to work for D. Hawley, whom she admired deeply. Dr. Hawley was an innovative leader, who was the first to provide insurance benefits to the College’s staff, and he bequeathed the Hawley Fund, which initiated the International Guest Scholarships program.

After Dr. Hawley’s retirement in 1969, Ms. Rapp held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at the College, primarily in the Fellowship Department, now known as the Division of Member Services. For many of those years, she was the College’s International Liaison, serving thousands of International Fellows, Honorary Fellows, and guest physicians. As recently as the 2011 Clinical Congress in San Francisco, CA, surgeons were asking for news of her.

Miss Rapp in 1993 with International Guest Scholar Nobuyasu Kano, MD, PhD, FACS.

Miss Rapp in 1993 with International Guest Scholar Nobuyasu Kano, MD, PhD, FACS.

Ms. Rapp was intelligent, discerning, courteous, no-nonsense, stubborn, and very kindhearted. She appreciated good and honest work and was proud of the many excellent employees she helped to cultivate and train. She remained in contact with her favorite surgeons and was honored at the International Scholars luncheon in 2006.

Ms. Rapp retired in September 1999 after nearly 50 years of service, making her one of the College’s longest-serving and most dedicated employees. Even years after her retirement, she remained available to answer work-related questions.

The late C. Rollins Hanlon, MD, FACS, Dr. Hawley’s successor, made the wise decision to interview Ms. Rapp, audiotaping many of her stories about the College and the famous surgeons she had known. These recordings are housed in the ACS Archives. For more information about these recordings, contact Susan Rishworth, ACS Archivist, at

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