Epidemiologist without borders: Stan Foster

By Rhonda Mullen | Public Health Magazine | Nov. 18, 2013

Faculty, students and colleagues, past and present, pay tribute to longtime Emory professor Stan Foster, who recently retired at age 80.

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement, Stan Foster '82MPH swept into the Rollins Auditorium wearing a golden cap and ceremonial African robe shot through with gold threads worthy of the occasion. The global health professor worked his way through the room, shaking hands with the many friends who gathered at the Rollins School of Public Health in April for his last lecture, marking his retirement at age 80. Here were many of the giants of public health with whom Foster had worked on smallpox eradication in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Somalia, along with students, past and present, whom he had inspired.

On the front row was Dorothy "Dottie" Foster, Stan's wife and collaborator of 57 years. Theirs has been a life of service, answering needs in communities in partnership with others. Their commitment was obvious as Foster took his audience on a PowerPoint tour of his 50-year career in public health. But those who heard his last lecture already knew that his impact reached far beyond the borders of the school.

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