Continuing Education

Birmingham physician leaves lasting legacy of learning with gift to UAB.
Bill 01“No more teachers, no more books” is a popular chant among children at the end of each school year, but it’s doubtful anyone ever heard William Doggett III, M.D., singing that tune during his lifetime. Over the course of 26 years, beginning in 1986, Doggett took 70 undergraduate and graduate-level classes at UAB.

“What I wouldn’t have given for a class full of students like Bill—or just one more,” says Mary Flowers Braswell, Ph.D., a professor at UAB and a dear friend of Doggett’s. “I always told him that he was a better ‘scholar’ than I was! When he was in my Chaucer class or Arthurian Legend, I purposefully made his assignments as difficult as I possibly could. He loved it!”

Doggett pursued his continuing education during a 35-year career as an internist and pulmonary specialist at Medical Center East. He also served as a physician with Med-Help Family Care in Birmingham.

Doggett was a graduate of Davidson College and the UAB School of Medicine. He completed his residency at UAB before completing a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

During his impressive career, he continued to take courses in anything that interested him, his brother David Doggett says. These courses ranged from astronomy and history to English and foreign languages including French and German.

His lifelong love of learning led him to leave a gift to UAB from his estate. Doggett passed away in 2012. He had previously established the Grace Lindsley Waits Scholarship, in honor of an inspiring English teacher at Banks High School, for the study of English at UAB. The new endowment will be used to fund student scholarships and various activities in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. The gift may possibly fund lectures, conferences, faculty travel awards, and study-away experiences for students.

“Bill was a well-educated American in love with Old Europe, its architecture, Shakespeare, Schiller, and Stendhal,” says Serge Bokobza, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Bokobza says that, during Doggett’s 20-year membership in the Alliance Francaise of Birmingham, he attended numerous lectures and went on many trips.

“He enthusiastically supported our efforts to expose our community to the rich cultures of France and Germany. His legacy is for UAB students to experience the same emotion and enjoyment he felt when he was speaking French, studying in Germany, or strolling in England.”

David Doggett says that is exactly what his brother would have wanted. “Bill’s hope for the donation would be that someone—faculty or student—will get an education opportunity that he or she would not have gotten otherwise. His European travel and summer study programs at Cambridge and Oxford, and the intellectual stimulation that his UAB classes provided, were his greatest sources of pleasure.”

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