Holy Cross Remembers Robert E. Scully, M.D. '41

Robert Scully, M.D., '41, renowned physician, professor, researcher and mentor in the field of pathology, died Oct. 30, 2012, at 91.

Dr. Scully served 55 years as a member of the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), retiring in 2005. He was also professor emeritus of pathology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Specializing in diagnostic-particularly, gynecologic and testicular-pathology, Dr. Scully made numerous contributions in this area that included: publication of a book on ovarian tumors in 1958 with MGH gynecologist Dr. Jack McLean Morris; serving as co-editor of the World Health Organization classification of ovarian tumors; and, at the request of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the 1970s, preparing a book on the ovary for the Atlas of Tumor Pathology, published under the auspices of the American Registry of Pathology.

Named professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1971, Dr. Scully was the founding president of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists, a position he held from 1977 to 1982, and editor, for 27 years, of Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital, published weekly in The New England Journal of Medicine. During his career, he had also been involved in training and mentoring visiting fellows, writing numerous papers and reviews in his areas of interest, and traveling internationally.

A 1944 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Scully subsequently pursued residencies in pathology at the then Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Children's Hospital; the former Free Hospital for Women in Brookline and Boston Lying-In Hospital; and the former Pondville State Cancer Hospital in Norfolk, Mass. An instructor at Harvard Medical School, he joined the staff of MGH in 1950 and, again, in 1954, upon completion of two years of military service in the Army during the Korean War.

Dr. Scully was the recipient of numerous honors during his career, including the Fred W. Stewart Award, in 1980, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Distinguished Pathologist Award, in 1998, from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology. In 2006, Harvard Medical School established a professorship in his name and, in 2012, the Massachusetts Medical Society presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Receiving an honorary degree from Holy Cross in 1992, Dr. Scully had been a member of the College Board of Trustees, from 1978 to 1986, and, also, a member of the President's Council at Holy Cross.

He is survived by a nephew, Robert E. '80; two nieces; three grandnephews, including Thomas B. Raines '10; and two grandnieces. His brother was the late George B. '39.