University of Scranton Alumnus Becomes Official

March 5, 2015

James M. Kane, Sr., M.D., has always considered himself a University of Scranton alumnus. He has even maintained strong ties to Scranton over the years. He made a gift to name The William ’43 and James ’46 Kane classroom in the Loyola Science Center. Most recently, he gave a leadership gift of a million dollars to name The James M. Kane, M.D. ’46 Forum, a centerpiece of the University’s center for rehabilitation education scheduled to open this summer. 

The only thing missing was his diploma.

In 1946, while just eight credits shy of earning his bachelor’s degree at Scranton, Dr. Kane transferred to medical school at Loyola University Chicago. During and immediately after World War II, he explained, it was not uncommon for medical schools to accept select students early in order to ensure an adequate number of trained doctors.

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Kane served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy, earned another degree (this time a master’s in pathology from Northwestern University), raised a family and pursued an extremely successful career in the Chicago area. But he never forgot his time at Scranton. 

“The truth is, I felt indebted to the school all my adult life,” Dr. Kane said. “Where I am and how I got there is without question because of my Scranton education.”

On Nov. 23 in Rosemont, Illinois, University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., conferred a bachelor of science degree to the retired surgeon in a ceremony attended by family and close friends. His alumnus status, though never in question, was now official. 

“Fr. Quinn said, ‘The University of Scranton is honored to have you as a graduate and I am privileged to serve as the president bestowing your degree.’”

Dr. Kane, a 2012 recipient of the University’s Frank O’Hara Award, held several leadership positions during his 45 years as a surgeon at four Chicago-area hospitals, including chief of surgery at three locations. A pioneer in bariatric medicine, he assisted in the development of various procedures in bariatric surgery that led the way to laparoscopic gastric bypass.

Dr. Kane is featured in an article in the Spring 2015 Scranton Journal

James M. Kane, Sr., M.D., with University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Rosemont, Illinois in November. Most recently, Dr. Kane gave a leadership gift of a million dollars to name The James M. Kane, M.D. ’46 Forum, a centerpiece of the University’s center for rehabilitation education scheduled to open this summer. 

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