(Oct. 10, 1907-Feb. 15, 1964). A native of New Castle, Indiana, the son and grandson of physicians, and a graduate of Wabash College in 1929, Van Nuys received an M. D. degree from Indiana University in 1936 and took an internship and residency in medicine from 1936 to 1940 at the Indiana University Hospital. In 1940, he was appointed medical director of these hospitals, and, in 1947, he became dean of the INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, a position he held until his death.

Many advances occurred at the medical school under Van Nuys’ leadership. Outside research support, approximately $11,000 when he became dean, increased to about $5 million by his last year.

The clinical faculty had been largely part-time or volunteer until the Van Nuys years. He was able to attract nationally recognized chairmen of departments and faculty. In 1958, the medical sciences building that now bears his name was completed, and, for the first time, first-year medical students were admitted at Indianapolis instead of Bloomington. The medical school’s class increased from 130 to 216, ranking it among the five largest schools in the nation.

A wide swath of construction occurred at the Medical Center during the Van Nuys years, including the Union Building, Van Nuys Medical Sciences Building, Veterans Administration Hospital, Larue Carter Psychiatric Hospital, and additions to Riley Hospital. During the last year of his life, plans were being developed for a new Indiana University Hospital.

Van Nuys was active in national medical education affairs, holding several important positions in the Association of American Medical Colleges. He received numerous honors from medical organizations and an honorary doctorate from Wabash College.

Revised March 2021

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