Dean Steven Berk had a soft side for his students

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 11:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The flag representing the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center was flying at half-staff today in honor of Dr. Steven Berk. For 17 years, he was dean of the medical school until his death ten days ago.

Today, several hundred of his closest friends and admirers packed the event center at the campus to remember Dr. Berk. Nearly a dozen people took to the podium, telling stories about his life and accomplishments. 

What I learned in the audience today was that he was not just a brilliant man, he was also very funny. 

The service included a series of videos showing a theatrical side of the dean. It was part of his yearly effort to encourage ticket sales for the City Lights Gala, a fundraiser for the medical students.

I hope you’ll play the above video to hear a bit of his shtick, always loved by his students.

TTU Chancellor Tedd Mitchell followed the video by saying how fortunate that he was a great doctor, bringing as many laughs as the video itself.

Many who spoke today said Dr. Berk appeared invincible. He was abducted at gunpoint about 20 years ago and not only survived, but wrote a book about the ordeal called “Anatomy of a Kidnapping.” A year ago, he suffered a massive heart attack and survived.

He told me in an interview recently that his next book would be called “Anatomy of a Heart Attack,” to praise the medical team that did everything right to lead him to a full recovery. 

He was from New York, but told many people that he wanted to retire in Lubbock, because he loved it here, and he loved wearing boots. 

On May 26, just days after recognizing the graduating class of 2023 at the medical school, his final commencement before retiring at age 74, Dr. Steven Berk died here in Lubbock, in his sleep, with his boots on.