University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine
News Divider

Earl "Jack" Wipfler Jr., MD, and Shirley Harbert Wipfler sit in the Jack and Shirley Wipfler Auditorium in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing during a fall 2008 visit, before their $400,000 gift funded the auditorium's renovation. Earl Wipfler is a 1953 graduate of the university's two-year medical degree program and the first to complete residency training in general surgery at MU. His wife, Shirley, graduated from MU in 1959 as a registered nurse.

Donors Improve Learning Environment for Medical and Nursing Students

Jack and Shirley Wipfler finance the renovation of MU nursing school auditorium

More than 50 years after they met while caring for patients at the then-fledgling University Hospital, Earl "Jack" Wipfler Jr., MD, and Shirley Harbert Wipfler are helping to lay the groundwork for educating future doctors and nurses at the University of Missouri. Thanks to the couple's generous donation of $400,000, the renovation of the Jack and Shirley Wipfler Auditorium in MU's Sinclair School of Nursing was completed in August to provide a better learning environment for both medical and nursing students.

"Education was a door-opener for us to live out our dreams," said Shirley Wipfler. "We feel tremendous gratitude for the exciting life we've lived, doing what we've wanted to do and doing it well. It is totally priceless."

Earl Wipfler is a 1953 graduate of the University's two-year medical degree program and the first to complete residency training in general surgery at MU. His wife, Shirley, graduated from MU in 1959 as a registered nurse. When they decided to give back to the university, the Wipflers wanted to pay tribute to the schools that helped equip them to be healers, caregivers and vital parts of the St. Charles, Mo., community where they lived for more than 40 years before recently moving to Gulf Shores, Ala.

Over the course of four months, contractors gutted the outdated auditorium to make it a more pleasant and safer place for students to learn. The first step was asbestos abatement, followed by the removal and replacement of all seats, carpeting, lights and ductwork. Filling in a recessed pit at the front of the room expanded seating capacity from 162 seats to 175 seats in addition to improving handicapped accessibility. The completed auditorium also features technology upgrades to keep pace with today's learners, including updated audiovisual equipment and under-seat electrical outlets for students' laptop computers.

"In a survey, students identified renovation of this auditorium as a priority," said Linda Headrick, MD, senior associate dean for education and faculty development at the medical school. "I'm very grateful that the Wipflers provided the private support to create an up-to-date learning environment for our doctors and nurses of the future."

The MU medical and nursing students who use the auditorium will join the decades of patients and community members who have benefitted from the couple's generosity. Earl Wipfler practiced as a vascular and general surgeon in St. Charles for 25 years and for another 10 years as an emergency department physician. Upon retirement, he helped found the St. Charles Volunteers in Medicine free clinic, which provides care for people with no health insurance. Shirley Wipfler operated a holistic health clinic for 25 years, helping patients with their physical and emotional health. The couple has four children, one of whom, Earl John Wipfler III, MD, is a 1988 MU medicine graduate and an emergency room physician in Peoria, Ill.
MU Health Magazine


News and Events

David Chang Grill with Caution
Wire bristles from barbecue brushes can cause serious injuries
Tahir Rahman Extreme Beliefs Often Mistaken for Insanity, New Study Finds
Researchers say new term offers more precise definition of non-psychotic behaviors
Paul Tatum Family Medicine Professor Wins Distinguished Physician Award
Tatum recognized for outstanding care of patients near the end of life
Seth Sherman Minimally Invasive Tendon Repair Technique Supports Knee Movement Sooner after Surgery
Researchers found suture anchors, a less-invasive repair technique, responded better to strength-testing after surgery
2016 Graduation MU School of Medicine Awards 86 Medical Degrees at Commencement Ceremony
The graduates will go on to receive additional training as resident physicians in their chosen specialties
Patrice Delafontaine MU School of Medicine Dean Inducted into Prestigious Medical Society
Delafontaine joins elite group of physicians in American Clinical and Climatological Association
Steven Zweig MU Family Medicine Ranked Among Nation’s Best by U.S. News & World Report
Department has been in top 10 for 23 consecutive years
Uzma Khan MU Initiative Helps Rural Doctors Treat Chronic Pain
Show-Me ECHO to offer special training session April 28
Legacy Teachers MU School of Medicine Program Expands to Other Medical Schools
MU’s Legacy Teachers program lets students recognize patients as educators
Susan Nagel Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal May Increase Endocrine Disrupting Activity
Scientists draw conclusions after study at natural gas and oil extraction wastewater disposal facility
St. Baldricks 2016 Participants Go Bald for Childhood Cancer Research
Community donates more than $40,000 to the cause

Media Relations
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, DC028.00
Columbia, MO 65212
24/7 on-call pager: (573) 876-0708

Mary Jenkins
(573) 882-7299

Jeff Hoelscher
(573) 884-1608

Derek Thompson
(573) 882-3323

Diamond Dixon
(573) 884-7541

Justin Kelley (Photographer)
(573) 882-5786
Pager (573) 397-9289

Web Communications
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, MA204G, DC018.00
Columbia, MO 65212
(573) 884-0298

Jennifer Orford
(573) 882-0298

Deidra Ashley
(573) 884-3988

Jesslyn Chew
(573) 884-2891

Velvet Hasner
(573) 884-1115

Justin Willett
(573) 884-7740

Follow us on Twitter!   Facebook   YouTube Videos   Instagram   Pinterest  
Website created and maintained by the Office of Communications.  Contact the MU School of Medicine.
Revised: April 27, 2013 - Copyright © 2015 - Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and other copyright information. An equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer.