Kansas University graduates Robert and Reine Hartley of Baxter Springs plan to contribute $50,000 to create an eye research fund at the KU Medical Center, officials said Wednesday.
Donations of $35,000 now and $15,000 next year to the Campaign Kansas fund drive will establish the Dr. Clemens Rucker Glaucoma Research Fund in memory of Reine Hartley's father.
Dr. Theodore Lawwill, chair of the KUMC ophthalmology department, said the gift would benefit ongoing glaucoma research and attract new research specialists to the department.
Clemens Rucker was born in Austria in 1883. He went to medical school in St. Joseph, Mo., and worked as an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist in Sabetha for 60 years.
He served as president of the Sabetha Hospital and chair of the Nemaha County Medical Society. Mrs. Hartley said her father's practice wasn't limited to Sabetha.
"Patients from as far away as Topeka would drive to his offices for appointments. Often, I meet people who have relatives who were Dad's patients," she said.
Reine and Robert Hartley graduated from KU in 1934. The couple's three sons attended KU. One graduated from KU's School of Medicine and another from KU's School of Law.