Richard P. Billingham

2002 to 2003

It has been my honor to serve as your President during this past year. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons celebrates its 104th year with this meeting and is a unique group, numbering more than 2,300 members worldwide. It is a very different group from others with which I have been associated, likely because of the warm and affable personalities of those who have chosen a career in colon and rectal surgery. Newcomers to our meetings are immediately made to feel welcome, and long-term friendships are easily formed. Most of my best friends have been made within the context of this Society, as well as its sister organizations, the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, the Research Foundation of the ASCRS, and the Association of Program Directors in Colon and Rectal Surgery.

A feature that is perhaps unique in our Society is not the number of people whom we know on a first-name basis, but those who are universally known by their first names alone.
Examples are:

Ira (Ira Kodner)
Stanley (Stanley Goldberg)
Johnny (John Mackeigan)
Vic (Victor Fazio)
Byron (Byron Gathright)
Sam (Sam Labow)
Heidi (Heidi Nelson)
Randy (Randy Bailey)
Graham (Graham Newstead)
Yanek (Yanek Chiu)
Sergio (Sergio Larach)
Ann (Ann Lowry)
Stella (Stella Zedalis)