22 AQUINAS LANDMARK | WINTER 2024 Alumni News On October 1, 2023, another class of outstanding individuals were proudly inducted to The Aquinas Institute’s esteemed Hall of Fame. Unlike recent years, this year’s ceremony was held on campus – the place that our inductees hold near and dear to their hearts. The reason that today’s Aquinas continues to thrive is because of the example set forth by those who have come before us. The Hall of Fame is a perfect example of the cycle of success that is a staple of Aquinas’ past, present, and future, as all of our inductees are outstanding models of the Basilian tradition of Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge. DR. BENJAMIN A. QUAMINA, MD ’56 Distinguished Career Dr. Benjamin Quamina, both a bright and determined young man, graduated from Aquinas in 1956 at the age of 16. Even at that time, he had known for years already that he was destined for a career in medicine. In pursuit of the guidance and structure he found at Aquinas and in Catholic education, Dr. Quamina chose to attend Duquesne University where he was a chemistry and pre-med major. In summers, between working, he attended the Eastman School of Music for trumpet lessons and the University of Rochester for classes. In 1962, Dr. Quamina’s interest in both clinical science and research brought him to Boston University for its esteemed MD PhD program. As a freshman he volunteered to work with a group of teen boys as part of a program founded by Melvin King. King and the Department of Child Guardianship went on to start a halfway house program for boys aged 15-20 who were wards of the State of Massachusetts; Dr. Quamina and his new wife, Dorothy, became the first house parents. Over time, the program grew into a six facility group home the Quaminas helped run – building personal connections to the residents, and connecting them with necessary social services and medical expertise. During this period, Dr. Quamina was a resident in Boston University and Tufts departments of ophthalmology. In 1970, after completing his residency, Dr. Quamina entered the army as a Major at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He was honorably discharged and returned to Boston where he started a private practice. In 1973, as neighborhood health centers formed to address lack of care in poor and minority communities, Dr. Quamina proudly became the first ophthalmologist to work directly in the clinic. For him, this was a way to treat and provide care to the community and improve the health and welfare of marginalized citizens. On May 12, 2004, the city of Boston and then mayor, Thomas Menino, recognized Dr. Quamina’s work declaring it “Benjamin Quamina Day.” An award given in recognition of outstanding ophthalmologists is also named in Dr. Quamina’s honor. After approximately 50 years, he retired from full-time practice, however, he continues to work at two neighborhood health centers part-time. 2023 INDUCTEES 2023 HALL OF FAME