In Memoriam: Faculty & Friends
Dr. Lawrence Rogers Burwell of Charlottesville died July 28, 2022. After a fellowship in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a faculty position at the University of Rochester, he and his wife, Ramona, moved their family to Charlottesville in 1975 for a position at the University of Virginia. Dr. Burwell integrated the faculty of the School of Medicine, becoming the first Black doctor at the University’s hospital. He was also the first Black member of the medical school faculty to receive tenure. He was among the first American physicians to perform balloon angioplasty, having traveled to Switzerland in the 1970s to learn the procedure from the doctor who invented it. He led the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the UVA Health Sciences Center and was also its director of interventional cardiology. Dr. Burwell was particularly proud of his service work at the school and mentorship of Black medical students. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, and in 2003, he was honored with the Laureate Award from the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Physicians. When he was not caring for patients, he served the greater Charlottesville community in a variety of capacities, including as a board member of St. Anne’s-Belfield School, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, and Computers4Kids. He enjoyed running, tennis, photography and trading stocks online. He was an avid supporter of Virginia basketball and a devoted fan of Washington’s NFL franchise, particularly in the 1980s and early ’90s. But above all else, he believed his legacy was the four children he and Ramona raised and in whom he had boundless pride. Survivors include his four children and seven grandchildren.