Emeritus faculty member establishes legacy through new lectureship

Dr. John Repke, center, poses with residents in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology prior to his retirement in 2017. Repke provided the leadership support to establish a named lectureship, which was also funded by gifts made in Repke’s honor from faculty, alumni and friends. Credit: Penn State Health / Penn StateCreative Commons

Dr. John Repke retired as professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2017, and one of his final acts after 15 years of service was to establish an annual lectureship to continue to enhance education in the field. Thanks to  Repke’s leadership gift, a matching contribution from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and gifts from other faculty, alumni and friends totaling more than $100,000, the John T. Repke, MD, FACOG Lectureship in Maternal Fetal Medicine will be presented for the first time this month.

The lectureship honors Repke’s years of service and particular expertise in high-risk pregnancy, preeclampsia and hypertension and medical complications of pregnancy. It will provide an annual forum for students, residents and faculty to learn from prominent physicians working and researching in these specialty areas and the general field of women’s health.

“We are thankful for Dr. Repke’s generosity and support, which will contribute significantly to our ability to provide outstanding care to our patients, enhance the learning experiences of our residents, students and faculty, and stimulate scholarly activities,” said Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean of Penn State College of Medicine. “Leadership support from emeritus faculty like Dr. Repke sets an inspiring example for others to follow and illustrates an ongoing commitment to nurturing our learners and influencing patient care.”

Dr. Errol Norwitz, Louis E. Phaneuf Professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, will present the inaugural John T. Repke, MD, FACOG Lecture at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in Lecture Room C at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey. The lecture is free and open to the public, with a light reception to follow.

The gifts from Repke and others to establish the Repke Lecture will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit To join in supporting the Repke Lecture, visit

Last Updated October 30, 2019