MARTHA MCCRORY PROFESSORSHIP IN THE DIVISION OF RHEUMATOLOGY
Established in 2014

Mary Estelle McCrory was born on April 29, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a mother, philanthropist, mentor, and friend who was admired and loved by all who knew her. Mrs. McCrory attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she graduated in 1931 with a B.S. degree in education. At the university she majored in secondary education and home economics, the latter serving her well in later life as host and homemaker. After graduating from the university, she taught high school for a year in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Mrs. McCrory had a wide circle of friends and a broad range of interests, the latter including traveling, reading, bridge, gardening, collecting antiques, and home decorating. Mrs. McCrory was a lady of pioneer heritage who displayed spirit and strength of character. Mary was married to Mr. Kenneth W. McCrory for 32 years, prior to his death in 1966. They had two children, Martha and Donald. Kenneth founded the Parker-McCrory Mfg. Company in 1921, which started making farm radios and wind chargers. Parker-McCrory Mfg. Co. is proud of its contribution to the early American farmers. The “Parmak Wind Charger” generates electricity from wind, which provided electrical power for the first time to thousands of farms. In the early 1930s Parker-McCrory pioneered the electric fencing industry. In 2002, Mrs. McCrory’s daughter, Martha, was diagnosed with Scleroderma. Martha passed away on June 10, 2004. Mary was enormously touched by the care and comfort provided to Martha by Dr. Fredrick M. Wigley and his dedicated team. In 2007, Mrs. McCrory took the steps necessary to leave a bequest intention to fund the Martha McCrory Professorship In the Division of Rheumatology. Mrs. McCrory’s gift is both a remembrance of Martha and an honor to Dr. Wigley. Her wish was that this gift would help advance research so that no other mother would have to experience the loss of their loved one to this disease. Mrs. McCrory passed away at home on November 8, 2012 at age 102.

 

Martha Ann McCrory was born on December 5, 1934 in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Mary Estelle Guisinger McCrory and Kenneth Wilson McCrory. Martha’s brother, Donald J. McCrory, currently resides in Overland Park, Kansas. Martha McCrory lived the life she dreamt. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech and Liberal Arts at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating in 1956. She lived in a number of cities both in the United States and abroad. Following graduation she moved to Florence, Italy, where she lived for two years and was exposed to the fine and decorative arts of the Renaissance. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art at The University of London in 1967. In the years following the award of her doctorate, Martha resided in Florence, completing various research projects – in particular, the collection of the Silver Museum of the Pitti Palace in Florence. After a number of years in Italy, Martha returned to the United States and settled in Baltimore. Martha took a position with the Walters Art Museum, where she lectured and published extensively on many aspects of art in the Renaissance period, with a particular interest in Renaissance dress and jewelry. As an Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, she shared that interest with students as eager to learn as she was to teach. The art of gem-engraving became a passion, but she had a wide range of interests. There were few professional areas for which Martha’s involvement did not lead to tireless dedication. In 2002, Martha was diagnosed with the autoimmune, rheumatic disease, Scleroderma. It was this diagnosis that brought together Martha, Dr. Fredrick Wigley, and Johns Hopkins because of Dr. Wigley’s international reputation as the leader in the research, teaching, and treatment of this life-altering disease. Martha passed away on June 10, 2004 following a two year struggle with scleroderma.

 

Fredrick M. Wigley, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Associate Director of the Division of Rheumatology, and Director of the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Wigley was born in Alexandria, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Chicago and his medical degree at the University of Florida. He began his internship on the Osler Medical Service in 1972 and later concluded his residency training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 1975. After a two year stint in the Navy, he returned to Baltimore and completed his fellowship training in rheumatology at Johns Hopkins in 1979. He has remained at Hopkins throughout the duration of his distinguished 30-plus year career in academic medicine, including promotion to professor of Medicine in 1996. He was the Director of the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology from 1982 to 2002. A nationally recognized leader in his field, Dr. Wigley’s research focuses on the events that cause scleroderma and the signs and symptoms of scleroderma. Dr. Wigley has dedicated his career to improving our understanding and enhancing the lives of patients, with an underlying diagnosis, which represents the most severe end of the entire rheumatology clinical spectrum and giving his patients a renewed sense of hope and optimism. He established the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center in 1990 to provide excellent patient care to patients with scleroderma, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and related disorders; to perform clinical and basic science research; and to provide educational opportunities. Currently, the Center is one of the largest scleroderma specialty centers in the world. The Center evaluates and treats five to seven new and 40-60 return scleroderma patients a week. It has more than 3,000 patients in a comprehensive database. He continues his passion for patient care and clinical research, as well as mentoring young investigators in Rheumatology. For more than thirty years, Dr. Wigley has been a major influence in the areas of scleroderma, Raynaud’s, and general rheumatology scholarship. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 articles, including more than 150 peer-reviewed articles (including four papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, five in Annals of Internal Medicine, in addition to 40 in Arthritis & Rheumatism and 26 in the Journal of Rheumatology), 38 invited manuscripts, plus 51 book chapters. He was co-editor on the books entitled Scleroderma: From Pathogenesis to Comprehensive Management and Raynaud’s Phenomenon: A Guide to Pathogenesis and Treatment. He has mentored dozens of postdoctoral fellows, many whom are now leaders in academic rheumatology. Dr. Wigley also has been successful in the procurement of external grant funding in the support of his research program, from the National Institutes of Health, Arthritis Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation, multiple pharmaceutical companies, and private foundations. In 2009, Dr. Wigley received the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Distinguished Clinician Scholarship Award. In 2011, he received the ACR Masters Award. In 2012, he was given the RARE Champion of Hope Award for Medical Care and Treatment. This year he received the Mary Betty Stevens Award for excellence in clinical research from the American College of Physicians. Dr. Wigley and his wife, Carol, live in Baltimore County and are the proud parents of Julie, Joy, and her husband Keir Joyce and the grandparents of Ryan and Emma Joyce.