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A5•November 10, 2011


The Chronicle

Part of the Pride for life...and death Hofstra’s longest tenured professor plans to donate anatomical gift to medical school

Anatomy lab at Hofstra’s Medical School Photo courtesy of Carole Trottere “He [D’Innocenzo] initially, as soon as he found out we were here, talked to our department chair, Dr. Patrick Gannon,” said Peragine. “Dr. Gannon gave me his information, I sent him our donation forms, he filled out all the paperwork, and we talked through everything.” “Legal wills normally say your body cannot be used in some other purpose,” said D’Innocenzo. “I then contacted President Rabinowitz the next day and I told him I’ve been here this long I’ll just make another contribution. He contacted the medical school and they contacted me. “They want you to have as many organs as you can. Hofstra makes use of the body longer than many other schools. They use it for three years. I hope it’s not going to be too soon by the way.” Let’s be honest, death is a touchy subject. It is one of those thoughts that can blindside you on some idle Sunday and keep you perplexed for hours. “Some people were a little squeamish when it came up, when I brought up the idea in class,” said D’Innocenzo. “But this is something I’ve come to terms with and some people are just frightened or put off when it comes to death and they don’t want to think about it in any way.” Being here for more than half a century, D’Innocenzo has formed a bond with this school. “It’s been so great growing older as Hofstra kept getting better,” said D’Innocenzo. “Hofstra was good when I came here in 1960 and I remember I had a lot of job offers because I came out of Columbia. Colleges were expanding and my advisor at Columbia told me that Hofstra’s reputation has not caught up with it. It’s really an outstanding school, it has a terrific faculty and that it was an up and coming school.” As an educator that has touched so many lives, one cannot help but be in awe as he discusses just how important bettering the lives of young people means to him. “I think part of anyone who becomes a teacher, you always want to give back to advance knowledge to disseminate it,” said D’Innocenzo. “It’s a great joy to have empower and teach young people along the way and to be at any institution you’re a part of it, you really care about it. I’ve loved the evolvement of Hofstra over all these years. “There is a kind of sweetness of the Pride, being at the Pride indefinitely.”

“There is a kind of sweetness of the Pride, being at the Pride indefinitely.”

By Joe Pantorno

Michael D’Innocenzo in the 1970s Photo courtesy of Michael D’Innocenzo


Michael D’Innocenzo has been part of Hofstra’s faculty since 1960. Since then, he has given back to the University community for 51 years; receiving awards and accolades that would be any educator’s dream. D’Innocenzo has one more gift in store for the University after he is done working here: his body. The history professor decided to donate his anatomical gift to the Hofstra Medical School for the hopes of advancement in science. Standing before his History 144 class which deals with the American Revolution, D’Innocenzo’s lecture meandered into the story of Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello, VA which spoke of his legacy. “It was kind of a spur of the moment thing,” said D’Innocenzo. “I told our attorney that I wanted to donate it and my wife was fine with that, she knew about it and what the Hofstra Medical School said when I talked to them initially was that you should talk it over with you family, your attorneys to make sure people are comfortable with you doing this.” Cira Peragine, program Administrator for the Whole Body Anatomical Gift Program for the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine has been building her department since before doors were opened. “The School of Medicine’s AGP is a whole body donation program and does not include those people who wish to donate organs,” said Peragine. “However, cornea and skin donations are also acceptable prior to whole body donation.” The school has obtained 22 cadavers in its first year as students learn to advance their medical understandings in hopes of becoming the next generation of great doctors. “At this time, the cadavers at the School of Medicine are used for medical education and research,” said Peragine. “The initiation of our program has benefited from our partnership with the North Shore-LIJ Health System.” D’Innocenzo got in contact with the Medical School and made the necessary changes to his personal documents in order to make the donation valid.

Current photo of Michael D’innocenzo

Photo courtesy of Hofstra Magazine 2008 Faculty Spotlight


A5•November 10, 2011 By Joe Pantorno Photo courtesy of Michael D’Innocenzo Current photo of Michael D’innocenzo Photo courtesy of Hofstra Ma...

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