Dr. Robert Kunkel Inducted into OFIC Hall of Excellence

April 15, 2008

kunkelgieseoficDr. Robert S. Kunkel, Jr., long-time member of the Board of Trustees of Mount Union College, was inducted into the 2008 Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) Hall of Excellence at its Evening of Excellence held Wednesday, April 9 at Columbus Renaissance Hotel.

Kunkel was introduced by Dr. Richard Giese, president of Mount Union College, who acknowledged the rare opportunity of knowing someone who is the foremost authority in a particular field - in this case the study of headache.

According to Kunkel, the son of a general practitioner, the medical field was the last thing on his mind when he went to Mount Union where 18 of his relatives have attended.  "I grew up making house calls with my father and went to college hoping to pursue something different," Kunkel said. "Although I was subjected to a number of liberal arts courses, the science courses were my strength and I ended up where my father had hoped - in the medical profession.  It is incumbent upon us as graduates of independent colleges to market the importance of our type of college because of the broad base of knowledge our graduates attain."

Kunkel is one of the nation’s leading voices in the study of headaches. His leadership roles in his profession are extensive. Highlighting his commitment is his service to the National Headache Foundation Board of Directors, for which he served as president from 1994-2005 and vice president from 1983-1994. He also served as president of the Oho Headache Association from 2000-2005 and was acting chairman from 1996-2000. A fellow with the American College of Physician, Kunkel is also a member of the American Medical Association, the Cleveland Academy of Medicine, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Great Lakes Interurban Club and the International Headache Society.

Kunkel has served on the editorial board of Headache Quarterly since 1990 and has served as associate editor of Pain Management and as a member of the specialty advisory board of Modern Medicine. He has also served as the United States Representative on the Committee to Reclassify Headaches of the International Headache Society, serving as char for two subcommittees.

Kunkel is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Board of Governors Award for Distinguished Community Service through the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the National Migraine Foundation Lectureship Award, the John Graham Senior Clinician Award through the American Association for the Study of Headache and the Patient Partner Award through the National Headache Foundation. A nationally-recognized expert, Kunkel is the author of a multitude of articles and book chapters and is the co-editor of “Headache: Diagnosis and Treatment.” His most recent publication “Headaches” serves as a home reference for patients and caregivers. He is currently in the publishing process of a second book.

A 1955 graduate of Mount Union, Kunkel attended Western Reserve University and earned his M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the Cleveland Clinic as an intern in 1960 and went on to complete his residency in internal medicine. Later, he served in the U. S. Army as a physician stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. Upon his return to the Clinic, Kunkel served as staff physician in the Section of Headache in the Department of Internal Medicine and in the Section of Headache in the Department of Neurology. Currently, he maintains his practice and has acted as a consultant for the Section of Headache since 1999.

Kunkel has served as a dedicated member of the Mount Union College Board of Trustees since 1975. He has served the board as vice president, secretary, a member of the executive committee and vice chairman of the presidential search committee. He was elected trustee emeritus in 2002, and remains an active member in this role. Kunkel has also served the College in various fund raising volunteer roles during three significant campaigns. He has hosted events and personally supported each campaign with significant commitments. Along with his three siblings, Dr. Kunkel established the Dr. Robert and Martha Kunkel Pre-Med Scholarship in honor of their father and mother. The Kunkels are members of the College Heritage Society in recognition of a generous deferred gift. Kunkel was honored with the Alumni Service Award in 1993 in acknowledgement of outstanding achievement in a chosen or professional field and for service to the College or to the community. The award represents the highest honor an alumnus/alumna can receive from Mount Union.

An active member and leader at the Church of the Savior United Methodist Church, he and his wife, Brenda, are also active in the Mayfield Curling Club where Kunkel has served as chair and vice chair.

Since 1950, OFIC has been partnering with Ohio’s businesses, foundations and other donors to assist students with financial need obtain a college education. Established in 1987, the OFIC Hall of Excellence Award honors outstanding alumni on an annual basis. 2008 marks the 22nd Evening of Excellence held in celebration of distinguished alumni who exemplify the values of a liberal arts education.

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