As a child, Buddy Voshell lived with his mother and father in Varsity Hall on Grounds, half a block from UVA Hospital. This made it easy for his father to walk to work. “I can still see him now, walking down the street to the hospital,” he said.
He was a caring and generous man, the type of person who was dedicated to helping others. “I adored my dad. He did a lot for me,” Voshell (Col ’52) said recently from his home in Charlottesville.
Voshell’s unwavering devotion to his father’s memory is part of the reason he decided to create a professorship in sports medicine within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in his father’s name. Dr. Allen Voshell was recruited to start the first Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UVA in 1921, and he served as its chair through 1931. Today, the department has grown to 23 faculty members and 13 physician assistants.
Buddy Voshell decided to create a professorship in sports medicine in his father’s name.
An outstanding bone surgeon and accomplished athlete, the elder Voshell played lacrosse in college and coached the first lacrosse team at UVA. “My dad became interested in the knee joint because knees are damaged quite frequently in football and other sports,” he said. “Through analysis he determined that when a foot has cleats on it, it is stabilized in the ground. When you hit the side of the knee, there are only so many ligaments that can take the pressure.”
From such scholarly focus and discipline, young Buddy learned to value hard work and the importance of education. After serving in the Navy as a signalman in the Pacific during World War II, Voshell returned to Charlottesville and enrolled at UVA.
After graduation, Voshell went to work at the National Bank and Trust Company then took a job with State Farm Insurance, where he worked for 40 years. “I enjoyed working with people, solving problems for them,” he said. Buddy credits his father and his time in the Navy with instilling a “give and take” philosophy he practices to this day. “Life is very simple,” Voshell said. “It’s about acclimation, and getting along with your fellow man.”
Voshell decided to make his gift by funding a charitable gift annuity—an arrangement that’s good for both him and UVA. He will receive a guaranteed fixed income for the rest of his life, and then the remainder of the annuity will be used to establish the professorship. “I’d like to take what money I have left and do some good with it,” he said. The professorship will enable UVA to secure the best academic talent, while also achieving Voshell’s goal. Endowed professorships such as the Allen F. Voshell M.D. Professorship in Sports Medicine are essential to UVA’s fundamental mission to seek the truth, share it with young minds, and employ it for the public good.