Western Michigan University announced today (3/11/14) its new medical school will be called the "Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine " The donors are Ronda Stryker, Homer Stryker's granddaughter, and her husband, William Johnston, a WMU trustee.

In a press release, WMU said the Western Michigan University School of Medicine, a new private medical school, will be named in honor of Stryker, the Kalamazoo orthopedic surgeon and medical device innovator who founded the Stryker Corporation. The school will be housed at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus in downtown Kalamazoo.

Photo: Getty Images, Joe Raedle

The first class of medical students will be begin studies this fall. The school is a collaboration involving WMU and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare.

Stryker and Johnston are the donors who made a founding anonymous gift in excess of $100 million to the University three years ago to launch the medical school initiative in Kalamazoo. Ronda Stryker says she feels strongly that this is the right time for the medical school to be launched, and she knows her grandfather would be thrilled that the opportunity for medical education is being enhanced in his community.

"My grandfather always focused on patient outcomes," Stryker says. "His innovation work and research was never about himself but always about the patient, better health care outcomes and better equipment for doctors. I am certain he would be thrilled to know that medical education and research are taking place in Kalamazoo.

"While he wouldn't care that the school was named after him, it is without doubt a fitting and lasting recognition to his contribution to medicine, medical research, innovative products and service to patient healthcare outcomes. We are thrilled to be strong foundational partners in the creation of this new innovative school of medicine."