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Class of 2020 remembers anatomy donors

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September 2016

During an evening memorial service, first-year students remembered donors who gave their bodies to enhance their knowledge of human anatomy. Twenty-four donors were memorialized with a white rose and spoken dedication from students.

“Thank you to all of those who donated their bodies for our education,” read Scott Nelson’s dedication. “I will never take for granted the sanctity of human life or the intricate beauty of the human body… I am undoubtedly a better student and a better person for having participated, and I am forever grateful for the donors and their families who made that possible.”

Professor Eric Laywell, anatomy instructor, spoke about a “sacred trust” between the donor and student — formed by the donors’ willingness to provide their bodies and the students’ responsibility to learn from them. Laywell described the experience as some students’ first intimate exposure to death, saying, “It changes you.”

Jacqueline DePorre read a poem she’d written about the experience:

A story untold

End of life
Yet you live on
In our mind, in our thoughts, and beyond
First experience
Never forgotten
The first cut - how deep do we go?
We break through the surface
It once housed a soul, a heart that has loved countless times, a story untold
An unknown life yet we try to fabricate it
With your scars, your tattoos, your marks, and changes
Each body is unique
Each of our experiences mystique
But they don’t end there, we will carry your memory with us everywhere.

Read more about students’ experiences with donors in the winter 2011 FSU MED (pages 12-17).