Carl Lynch Receives Alumnus of the Year Award

October 11, 2023

In the fall of 2023, the Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine received a letter recommending Professor Emeritus rank for Dr. Carl Lynch, III, a long-time professor of anesthesiology and Houghton University graduate from the class of 1971.  Of the many noteworthy accomplishments and characteristics described in the letter, perhaps the most indicative of Dr. Lynch’s heart for mentoring and teaching was this: “His contributions to the education and clinical practices of anesthesia have shaped countless careers for decades.”

Dr. Lynch began his vocational journey as a Houghton student in the Fall of 1967 as a chemistry major. Over the course of his four years at Houghton, Carl immersed himself campus life.  He edited the yearbook (the Boulder) in his junior year, joined the Pre-Med Club and participated in Foreign Missions Fellowship, WJSL Radio, and Student Senate.  It seems Dr. Lynch was determined to leave no stone unturned and no experience unexplored.

This kind of exuberant energy is a hallmark of Dr. Lynch’s career. After graduating with Major Honors in Chemistry from Houghton, he attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he completed both an M.D. with Distinction in Research and a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1978.  At the U of R he received the Wallace O. Fenn Award for the Outstanding Ph.D. dissertation.  His incredible work ethic become a hallmark of his career.

After completing his work as a clinician investigator training fellow at the University of Rochester and his residency in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Dr. Lynch settled down to the business of teaching at the University of Virginia as an assistant professor of anesthesiology. By 1993, he had been promoted to full professor, and in 1999 he was named the Robert M. Epstein Professor of Anesthesiology and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UVA Medical Center.

In addition to his teaching career, Dr. Lynch is a widely published researcher, having served as the Principle Investigator on multiple National Institutes of Health Research Grants. His resume lists nearly seventy journal publications, over a dozen book chapters and dozens of articles, editorials, letters, commentaries and reviews. He’s held visiting professorships at institutions across the country, including Duke University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He’s presented dozens of lectures at symposia, workshops, meetings of professional societies, and international conferences.

Dr. Lynch by no means limits his service to the field of medicine and anesthesiology to the classroom and the lectern. He has served as a reviewer, committee member and panelist for national organizations such as the National Institute of Health, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. He served as the Anesthesiologist-in-Chief from 1999-2005 at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and supported UVA on multiple committees throughout his tenure.

In addition to the myriad ways he’s served students, fellow physicians and patients in the United States, since 2003, Dr. Lynch has served as the Director of Anesthesia & Operating Rooms for Misión de Esperanza in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia. Every year, he spends two weeks providing medical care to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to life-saving and life-changing procedures. Misión de Esperanza provides a wide array of free medical care, while also bringing hope and spiritual healing to every patient who enters their clinics by sharing the Gospel and praying for the people who are seeking healing.

Carl retired from his work at the University of Virginia in 2022 and was nominated for Faculty Emeritus status in the fall of 2023.  In his retirement, Carl along with his wife Linda, is active in the life of Ridgway Mennonite Church and they both continue traveling to Bolivia for missions work.

Carl has been a long and faithful supporter of Houghton University. In 2019, Carl committed to a transformational tribute gift in honor of his professor, mentor, and friend – Dr. Fred Shannon.  Carl created and endowed the Shannon Summer Research Institute fund.  This legacy gift ensures that current and future Houghton students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research projects for generations to come.

Because of Carl’s extraordinary service to society through his influence in the field of anesthesiology, his dedicated training and mentoring of young anesthesiologists, his commitment to ministering to the needs of people in Bolivia, and his active engagement with Houghton University, it is our privilege to name Carl Lynch, III, Houghton University 2023 Alumnus of the Year.