Biographical Sketch of Thomas G. Orr, MD
Thomas G. Orr, M.D., was born on May 9, 1884, in Carrollton, Missouri. He was a graduate of the University of Missouri (AB, 1907) and Johns Hopkins University (M.D., 1910). In 1915 Dr. Orr was appointed Instructor in Bacteriology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Shortly thereafter he moved to the Department of Surgery, becoming Professor and Chairman in 1924, a position he held for 25 years. He retired in 1954.
Dr. Orr was the author of several textbooks, including two editions of Operative Surgery, and over 200 publications in medical journals. He was well known for the development of a successful operation for cancer of the pancreas. He was a charter member of the American Board of Surgery and President of the prestigious American Surgical Association.
Harry R. Wahl, M.D., who was Dean when Dr. Orr chaired the Department of Surgery, described Dr. Orr as follows:
"He was highly cooperative, most considerate, patient and friendly. Dr. Orr possessed a remarkable capacity for human kindness. His contribution in administration was one of balance and reason - an individual who helped tie in all opinions toward the betterment of the school."
Dr. Orr died on November 18, 1955, at the age of 71.
Orr Society Logo
The Orr Academic Society logo was designed by the students during the society's first year of existence. The scalpel represents Dr. Orr's profession as a surgeon. It crosses a caduceus, representing the medical profession, but for a touch of humor, it was designed with an "Oar" instead of a simple staff. The central blue circle represents the "O" in Orr, and finally, the sunflower and KU jayhawk are to remind our members and friends that we proudly represent the State of Kansas and the University of Kansas.