Darlene's Bio:

Tom and I were married shortly after I graduated in 1964 and drove across the Trans Canadian Highway to New England where he was in medical school. I worked doing research at Dartmouth in the pharmacology department and then at Harvard in the Department of Tropical Public Health where my research was on schistosomiasis. When our first son was born I became a stay at home mom, volunteering both at church and at their schools. When our youngest was in high school I went to work at the Japanese Garden, first as tour co-ordinator and then as manager/buyer of the little store.

When on a brief visit to Kabul, Afghanistan in 1973 I made a silent pledge to myself that we would do something to help women and children when we retired. By 2010 when Tom retired, Afghanistan was no longer an option. However, we were able to create an opportunity for Tom to volunteer teaching Palestinian medical students in East Jerusalem. While in Israel/Palestine over the past ten years I have volunteered in Bethlehem at Wi’am and at the L’Arche organization Ma’an lil-hayat. Wi’am is a conflict resolution center using non violent methods to make peace through respect and reconciliation. Ma’an lil-hayat, “together for life” works with intellectually challenged young adults making felt products, primarily sheep and nativity creches. I have also worked with Palestinian women’s organizations that create embroidered items for sale using their traditional tatreez designs. I bring both the felt and embroidery items home to sell which has given me the opportunity to talk about Israel/Palestine.

Tom's Bio:

After graduating from Willamette in 1963 I went on to medical school at Dartmouth Medical School for 2 years and then on to Harvard Medical School, graduating cum laude in June 1967. Thereafter 2 years at Presbyterian - St Lukes Hospital in Chicago, then 2 years as a fellow at the Mayo Clinic, finishing my internal medicine training. In late 1971 I went to Okinawa, Japan for 2 and a half years to complete my military obligation. While there I served as chief of medicine. In early Spring of 1973 I was honored to join the medical team evaluating the returnees from North Vietnam including John Mc Cain and other army personnel. This was Operation Homecoming located in Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

After the military service I began my medical practice at Providence Medical Center, retiring December 2010. While in practice I was active in the teaching program at Providence for a number of years, working with the internal medical residents. On retiring I wanted to continue teaching medical students and young physicians.

My wife, Darlene, and I had been to Israel/Palestine on a Christian pilgrimage in May 2008. We wanted to return to Jerusalem for an extended stay. I was able to design a visiting professorship there at the very historic Augusta Victoria Hospital staffed by Palestinian doctors and nursing staff. It is a teaching hospital for Al Quds Medical School in the Bethlehem area. I was very honored to co teach 4th year medical students with the dean of their medical school, Dr. Hani Abdeen. This involved a 2 to 3 month stays there for 10 years altogether, interrupted for several years by the covid pandemic. It was a true joy to have this extended opportunity lasting years to teach these wonderful young medical students. Fortunately, the instruction was all in English which was essential. With our extensive stays living in East Jerusalem, Darlene and I have been able to travel widely throughout Israel/Palestine and have formed a number of close Palestinian friendships.This has been an invaluable cultural and historical experience for both of us greatly enriching our lives.

Tom BA'63 & Darlene BA'64 Dunham
Willamette University

Alumni and Parent Engagement

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-375-5304 voice
503-370-6830 fax

Back to Top