Med school celebrates family of graduates, donors

Dr. John C. Mason Jr.

John Mason Jr. outside the Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Sr. and Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Jr. classroom on the second floor of the College of Medicine Learning Center, in the College of Medicine West Tower.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine dedicated the Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Sr. and Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Jr. classroom at a ceremony held Dec. 9 at its Chicago campus.

The classroom honors alumnus Dr. John Mason Jr., of Danville, Illinois; his father, the late Dr. John Mason Sr.; and his entire family. The Mason family, which includes three generations of doctors who received their medical degrees from the college’s Chicago campus, has a long history of supporting the College of Medicine through active participation in the alumni association and planned giving.

The Mason family has long supported the College of Medicine with individual gifts and donations from both John Mason Sr. and John Mason Jr. dating back to 1965, and a combined gift from the whole family in December.

“The Mason family continues to show their support for the most promising and talented physicians of tomorrow,” said Dr. Charles Ray, acting dean of the college, “and we are pleased to recognize their support and generosity by dedicating this space to them.”

The classroom is located on the second floor of the College of Medicine Learning Center, which was renovated in 2015 and boasts three floors of updated classrooms and education spaces within the College’s historic West Tower.

John Mason Jr., who was accepted early into medical school after fulfilling his pre-med coursework at Urbana-Champaign in three years and then graduated from the Chicago campus medical school in 1955, says that his education was possible because it was affordable. Dr. Mason also completed his residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. John Mason Jr. cuts the ribbon at the Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Sr. and Dr. and Mrs. John C. Mason Jr. classroom dedication with his four sons. (Pictured from left: Steve Mason, Jeffrey Mason, John Mason Jr., Michael Mason, and John Mason)

“The training I received as a medical student has had a lasting influence on my career,” Mason Jr. said. “I always felt like the university was my partner in the practice of medicine. I would not be practicing without them. They made my education possible, in part, due to the affordability at the time.”

Following military service, Mason Jr., an OB/GYN, returned to Danville and went on to practice medicine for 40 years. During this time, he delivered or assisted in more than 10,000 births and served as a faculty member at the Urbana campus. Mason Jr. retired from the Carle Clinic Association and Lakeview Medical Center in Danville in 1999, and his legacy of giving includes the establishment of an endowed scholarship for students in the College of Medicine, which was founded with the help of his late wife, Donna. Mason Jr. and Donna Mason also funded endowed and named scholarships for students interested in medicine at the Danville Community College and the Carle Foundation.

Mason Jr. attended the ceremony with his four children — Dr. Jeffrey Mason, Steve Mason, Michael Mason and Dr. John Mason. Jeffrey Mason earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1986. Steve and Michael Mason, both attorneys, and John Mason, a dentist, all attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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