Former MD Anderson President Named UT System Chancellor Emeritus

MD Anderson News Release 08/22/14

HOUSTON ― Charles A. LeMaistre, M.D., who served as the third president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been named as a chancellor emeritus by the System’s Board of Regents.

Prior to serving at MD Anderson’s helm from 1978 to 1996, LeMaistre was chancellor of the UT System for seven years. The Board of Regents made the announcement today also naming former UT System Chancellor Hans Mark, Ph.D., as chancellor emeritus. Only two other chancellors, Harry Huntt Ransom, Ph.D., and E. Don Walker, have been named chancellor emeritus.

“Charles LeMaistre and Hans Mark were visionary chancellors who expanded the UT System into new directions that greatly benefited higher education and the people of Texas,” said current UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “They were unique, with exceptional careers in their respective fields of medicine and aerospace engineering before bringing their impressive talents to the UT System. I am enormously proud to be a part of the long and distinguished history of chancellors that includes these two remarkable leaders.”

LeMaistre served as the fourth UT System chancellor, from 1971 to 1978. Under his leadership, the UT System expanded to include new health science centers in Houston and San Antonio and new universities in Dallas, Permian Basin and San Antonio.

LeMaistre devoted much of his professional career to cancer prevention and smoking control. He served on the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health in 1964, and later as the national president of the American Cancer Society. His early efforts formed the foundation upon which were built many of MD Anderson’s cancer prevention programs, including a new EndTobacco initiative within the cancer prevention and control platform of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program.

He was president of MD Anderson from 1978 to 1996, during which time the institution doubled in size, attracting top scientists and clinicians. At MD Anderson, LeMaistre established the cancer prevention program, which developed into an international model of research and service that advances the science and application of cancer prevention and population sciences. Today, he serves as president emeritus at MD Anderson.

“Dr. LeMaistre led MD Anderson during a time of great change in our nation’s healthcare system,” said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “With his trademark charismatic style, he was instrumental in guiding the Cancer Center during a period of substantial growth in programs, personnel, facilities, private philanthropy and its reputation. I know I join many of Dr. LeMaistre’s colleagues in congratulating him on this well-deserved honor.”

Among his numerous awards and recognitions, LeMaistre received the President’s Award from the American Lung Association in 1987 and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Medical Association in 1995.