Dear Colleagues: I share the bittersweet news with you today that Mary Stephenson, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACOG, FRCOG (hon), Department Head and Theresa S. Falcon-Cullinan Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be retiring after a decade of leadership and service to the University of Illinois College of Medicine and UIC. Dr. Stephenson earned her medical degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, subspecialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine. Dr. Stephenson began her academic career at the University of British Columbia and was tenured as an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2001. One of her major accomplishments was to establish the British Columbia Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) Program in 1992, which provided the academic foundation for Dr. Stephenson to determine evidence-based strategies, to lead multi-centered randomized trials and contribute to the understanding of the genetic basis for miscarriage. Her collaborative genomic research identified candidate “miscarriage genes” associated with lethal embryonic defects. In 2004, Dr. Stephenson moved to the University of Chicago as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She established an academic RPL Program, which included an RPL Blood and Tissue Bank to archive “trios” of specimens from couples and their pregnancies. Since 2009, Professor Stephenson has been an Associate Editor for several high-impact journals, including Human Reproduction, Human Reproduction Update and Fertility & Sterility. In 2010, Professor Stephenson published as Co-Editor the textbook Early Pregnancy (Cambridge University Press), which is now in its 2nd edition. In June 2018, Dr. Stephenson was awarded Fellow Ad Eundem by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, a prestigious award bestowed to individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Stephenson was recognized, “for her work as one of the world’s leading clinicians and translational researchers in the field of recurrent pregnancy loss for over two decades.” At University of Illinois Chicago, Dr. Stephenson led positive change in the delivery of women’s reproductive and gynecologic health, both in our local community and globally. At UI Health, she co-chaired the Obstetrics Task Force, which resulted in retrofitting the entrances to make the OB Service a secure place for patients and staff, a new Postpartum Unit with single-bed rooms for family-centered care, a new Obstetrics Emergency (OBER) Unit which will be opening later this month, and major organizational improvements to promote a “culture of quality and safety” and a team-based approach to obstetrical care. Under Dr. Stephenson’s leadership, a formal agreement between UIC and Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia was signed in 2015, to support their newly established OB/Gyn residency program and to foster collaborative research. Many UIC OB/Gyn faculty and residents have participated in this sustainable global health initiative at Ayder Hospital in Mekelle, with virtual participation since the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon moving to UIC in 2012 as Department Head, Dr. Stephenson’s vision was to build interdisciplinary clinical, educational and research programs, build a well-balanced and diverse faculty, establish an OB/Gyn Blood and Tissue Bank, and promote collaboration, mentorship, sponsorship and productivity. One of her first initiatives was to build a strong residency research curriculum to promote lifelong learning and to prepare residents who choose to pursue a subspecialty fellowship. During her tenure, the OB/Gyn Department was completely renovated, which included the addition of the “Women of Steel” Simulation Center. In her own words, Dr. Stephenson’s most important accomplishment was “the culture of caring that the faculty, residents and staff have embraced, and which kept the Department fully engaged and mindful while coping with the unprecedented events of the past year." Please join me in wishing Dr. Stephenson years of happiness and good health during her retirement. We appreciate her years of service at the College of Medicine and UIC, and she will be missed. Regards, Mark I. Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA, MHA Executive Dean