JAY ALAN GERSHEN
April 9, 1946
November 12, 2020
Jay Alan Gershen, 74, who had a distinguished 43-year career in higher education, including a decade as president of Northeast Ohio Medical University and 12 years in executive roles at the University of Colorado at Denver, died Nov. 12 in Denver.
Jay was devoted to his wife, Carol Cannon, his two daughters, Valari Gershen (Brandy Allen), and Jenna Gershen, his stepdaughter, Mackenzie Chernushin (Chad O'Connor), his siblings Bonnie Lagunoff, Robert Gershen, and Lauren Gershen, his aunt, Irene Gershen, and numerous cousins. Born in the Bronx, Jay was the son of the late Julius and Vera (Sherman) Gershen.
Jay played a key role in consolidating the University of Colorado at Denver and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In 2006, he was appointed vice chancellor for external affairs. From 1997 until 2006, Jay led the conversion of the former Fitzsimons Army garrison to the Colorado Health Sciences Center. He also was a professor of dentistry from 1997 to 2010.
Jay was a faculty member in the School of Dentistry at the UCLA from 1976-1997. He directed the UCLA Mobile Dental Clinic serving children of migrant workers in rural California until 1982. At UCLA, he served as chair of Public Health Dentistry and later as acting dean of the School of Dentistry.
Jay earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a dental degree from the University of Maryland. He completed both a clinical specialty in pediatric dentistry and a Ph.D. in education at UCLA.
Jay was a fitness buff, an avid cyclist, a news junkie and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast. He enjoyed playing the piano and guitar. He loved traveling, especially exploring national parks with his wife.
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Memorial contributions may be made to Research!America, Box 222451 Chantilly, Va. 20153-2451 or to the NEOMED Foundation, 4209 State Rt. 44 PO Box 95, Rootstown, Ohio 44272.