Lowell Thelwell Coggeshall


School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1970)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1928
Honorary Degree (1948)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Herman B Wells


Dr. Lowell Thelwell Coggeshall was the former vice president in charge of educational operations, chairman of the Department of Medicine, and dean of the division of biological sciences at the University of Chicago. Dr. Coggeshall was an expert on tropical diseases, which he contributed his efforts to malaria and other diseases contracted by troops in the South Pacific during World War II.

Born in 1901 in Saratoga, Coggeshall grew up in Indiana and later attended Indiana University. In 1922, he graduated with his bachelor's degree and found his first teaching job as a zoology instructoer at IU. He also graduated with a master's degree in biology in 1923. Next, he worked at the Rockefeller Foundation Laboratory in Georgia with a pathologist who had worked with the victims of malaria during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Dr. Coggeshall returned to IU and earned his medical degree in 1928. He interned at the University of Chicago Clinics and worked his way up to the position of assistant professor in the department of medicine. In 1935, he became a researcher in tropical diseases for the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Coggeshall later became the chairman of the department of tropical diseases at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1941.

When United States entered WWII, Dr. Coggeshall assisted by establishing medical services along airline routes plotted by the U.S. Army Air Corps through Africa, the Middle East, India and China. He also served as director of a 5,000-bed military hospital in Klamath Falls, OR, established for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel suffering from tropical diseases. Dr. Coggeshall won the Gorgas Medal awarded by the Association of Medical Surgeons for accomplishments in the treatment of several thousand marines.

After the war, he returned to the University of Chicago and became its chairman of the department of medicine, which he held until 1948. Dr. Coggeshall then was appointed as dean of the division of biological sciences. During his time there, he helped raise more than $23 million for the construction of research and hospital facilities. Dr. Coggeshall served as dean until he was appointed vice president of educational operations in 1960. He retired in 1966. In addition to his administrative positions at the university, Dr. Coggeshall was the Frederick H. Rawson professor in medicine. He was a life trustee of the university, and a professorship in medical science was established in his name.

He retired to Foley, AL, where he passed away in 1987.