75th Anniversary fun College facts

September 5, 2017

Dr. Frederick Wittich

Did you know these fun College facts?

  • Frederick Wittich, MD founded the College in 1942, but he never served as president.
  • Bella Schick, MD spoke at the 1958 Annual Meeting.
  • Philip M. Gottlieb, MD, FACAAI, College president in 1961-1962, played a big role in raising the professional status of the allergist. He submitted the paperwork needed to create a section on allergy in American Medical Association.
  • Mayer A. Green, MD, FACAAI, College president in 1962, was the first doctor to be certified as an allergist by exam.
  • In 1971, the American College of Allergists (ACA) merged with the American Association of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (AACIA) to become the American College of Allergy and Immunology (ACAI).
  • Joseph A. Bellanti, MD, FACAAI, current College historian and College president in 1991-1992, published a textbook on immunology in 1971 that is widely acclaimed. The fourth edition was published in 2012.
  • During Gilbert D. Barkin, MD, FACAAI’s College presidency in 1982-1983, he focused on bringing in new, younger members, as the average age of a College member was then 58. Working with Dr. Bellanti to improve the quality of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “the window to College membership,” 200 new young members joined, the start of an additional 1,000 over the next five years.
  • In the early 1990s, the College broadcast a teleconference to primary care physicians in five cities.
  • John C. Selner, MD, FACAAI, College president in 1992-1993, is known to be the only allergist who taught other allergists rhinolaryngoscopy. Allergists would often travel to his office in Denver to train under him.
  • To celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary in 1992, a video and song were recorded about ACAI. The song was to the tune of "Proud to be an American."
  • Newt Gingrich spoke at the 1994 Annual Scientific Meeting – his topic was health care reform.
  • Diane E. Schuller, MD, FACAAI served as the first female president of the College in 1994-1995. Hillary Clinton wrote the College a letter congratulating us on having a lady president. Under Dr. Schuller’s leadership, the College added the “A” for Asthma, creating the name we know today: the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
  • Former first lady Barbara Bush was a surprise guest at the 1995 Annual Meeting. She spoke at Dr. Schuller's Presidential Dinner, honoring her as the first female president of the College.
  • The Nationwide Asthma Screening Program started in 1996 and still is a prestigious College initiative today.
  • During his presidency in 2000-2001, Emil J. Bardana, MD, FACAAI, created the much-loved member publication, AllergyWatch.
  • During his presidency in 2001-2002, Bob Lanier, MD, FACAAI launched the Gold Headed Cane award. The first recipient was Hal Nelson, MD.
  • In 2007, the College launched it premier public education campaign “Find an allergist, find relief.”