For campanion story H93 Valadka,Alex center with Young,Harry and Becker,Donald 2

A half-century of leadership (left to right): Harry Young, M.D.; Alex Valadka, M.D., H’93; and Donald Becker, M.D.

In 2019, the MCV Campus celebrates the 100th anniversary of neurosurgery. It got its start as a division founded by C.C. Coleman, M.D., who directed the U.S. Army School of Brain Surgery during World War I and was one of the original members of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the oldest neurosurgical professional organization in the world. Coleman began a residency program that was among the first four in the country.

The division was later chaired by William Collins, M.D., and Donald Becker, M.D. Under Becker’s leadership, the department became a NIH-funded neurotrauma research powerhouse. When Harold Young, M.D., became chair, he oversaw the transition from division to department and expanded the program’s practice base. In 2015, Alex Valadka, M.D., H’93, assumed leadership and established new international collaborations for research and education. The first 100 years have proven to be an incubator for innovative and compassionate service-oriented physicians.

As it enters its second century, the department builds on a legacy of leadership to influence the overall practice of neurosurgery.

In support of that aim, a campaign is underway to establish the M. Theresa and Harold F. Young Neurosurgery Chair, which will permanently support the work of a faculty member who heals and teaches in Young’s tradition, embodying compassion and excellence in patient care and an abiding commitment to the highest standards of surgical education. The chair will provide a steady source of funding to give the incumbent flexibility to pursue focused work in neurosurgical research, clinical care and oversight of the training of junior neurosurgeons.

For more information on supporting the Young Neurosurgery Chair, contact Carrie Bickford, senior major gifts officer, at (804) 828-3652 or

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