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Robert F. Froehlke, Melvin R. Laird and William G. HockingRobert F. Froehlke, Melvin R. Laird and William G. Hocking

Heritage Foundation

Melvin R. Laird

1998 Heritage Foundation Award Winner

As Wisconsin celebrated its sesquincentenial year, so too, Marshfield Clinic's Heritage Foundation celebrated the contributions of a man from Wisconsin who served the vast majority of his years to make life better for his community, his state and his country.

Marshfield native Melvin R. Laird was honored in May of 1998 in Wausau as the first recipient of the Marshfield Clinic Heritage Foundation Award.

"Wisconsin is celebrating 150 years of statehood this year," Marshfield Clinic's 1999 President William G. Hocking said. "Part of that history is the 82-year story of Marshfield Clinic. Founded in 1916 by six physicians who bonded together to provide high quality health care, research and education, Marshfield Clinic is one of the earliest examples of the group practice of medicine in this country. We felt that the time was right to begin to recognize those who have made important contributions to this history.

"We assumed as we developed this far-reaching charter that no one man or woman's history of contributions could encompass all of these fields. We assumed wrong!" The selection of Laird became an easy one based on his major contrbutions in so many fields.

Other speakers who honored Laird during the special Foundation event were Marshfield native and fellow Heritage Foundation award winner Robert F. Froehlke, National Advisory Council (NAC), as master of ceremonies; Harry F. Franke, NAC; David R. Obey, 1998 7th District Representative; retired Marshfield Clinic physician Russell Lewis, M.D.; Lt. General Robert E. Pursley (USAF, Ret.); and Wheelock Whitney.

Read Melvin Laird's biography.

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