University News

Dr. Russell Dohner Awarded Honorary Doctorate at WIU

May 18, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Dr. Russell Dohner, a Rushville (IL) physician for more than 51 years, was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during Western Illinois University's May 13 Commencement Exercises in Macomb.

The Honorary Doctorate is the highest award Western Illinois University can bestow on an individual.

Dohner was a member of the first pre-med group at Western after World War II. He then attended the Northwestern University Medical School, graduating in 1953. Following two years at St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Dohner returned to Rushville and has served as a doctor there for more than 51 years, making house calls that cost patients just $5.

"Dr. Dohner has made public service his life. His bottom line isn't money; rather it's people's well-being. For a doctor of today to still make housecalls, and charge only $5, is simply amazing and awe-inspiring," said WIU Provost Joseph Rallo.
"We're proud of his association with our University."

Dohner was proclaimed the 1992 winner of the Pfizer Quality Care Award by Illinois Gov. George Ryan and was second runner-up in 2004 for the National Country Doctor of the Year Award. He was named one of the Illinois Country Doctors of the Year last year. Dohner is a recipient of the 1982 Alumni Achievement Award at Western and was the first recipient of the Rushville Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Dohner is the uncle of Marilyn Johnson on Macomb, who retired in July 2005 after 38 years of service to WIU, including 30 years of service as executive secretary to four presidents while also serving as the secretary to Western's Board of Trustees.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations