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Moses A. Greenfield, Class of 1931

Honorary Member Moses Greenfield died in New York City on July 27, 2012 at the age of 97. Mo, the name by which he was known, was the convener of the organizational meeting of the Council of University of California Emeriti Associations (CUCEA) held on the Berkeley campus on October 29, 1987. He served as Chair in 1990/1991 and Vice Chair the previous year. On October 30, 1997 he initiated the Biobibliographic Survey which reports research, teaching and services by the emeriti on each campus. The main purpose is to inform the chancellors and other administrators that the emeriti are active. Some years earlier, Mo along with Claude Fawcett brought this idea to UCLA from CUCEA which was inspired by Henry Fagin of the University of California, Irvine. On April 24, 1997 Mo was presented an “Honorary Lifetime Membership” for his “Dedicated Early Leadership in the founding of the Emeriti Council (CUCEA).” He gave the Archives all of his CUCEA papers before he and his wife Bella left to live in Baltimore.
Mo attended the College of the City of New York where he received a B.S. in physics in 1935. He earned a M.S. in 1937 and a Ph.D. in Physics from New York University in 1941. His obituary in the New York Times (September 4, 2012) states that “he did his Ph.D. research about Red Giants under advisors George Gamow and Edward Teller at George Washington University.” The New York Times further reports: “He worked as a civilian research physicist for the U.S. Navy in Washington during World War II where he helped diagnose and correct defects in early Liberty ship designs.” He participated in the atomic bomb explosion tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Later he was a research physicist at North American Aviation where according to UCLA Today (April 23, 2002) “he helped design a nuclear-powered vehicle that could explore space.” It was felt that a radiologist was needed, since it was not known how this would affect human beings.

In 1948 Mo joined UCLA’s Department of Radiological Sciences in the newly established Medical School. He helped set up the Department’s clinics and space. In 1960 he founded the Medical Physics Graduate Program (later renamed the Biomedical Physics Interdepartmental Graduate Program) and was its Director until his retirement in 1982. He was recalled in 1992 to serve as Acting Director until 1996 when Edward J. Hoffman became the Director. The New York Times obituary continues: “In the 1970’s, Greenfield invented the ‘Greenfield method’ for non-invasive early detection of osteoporosis.” Mo was the Chair of the Los Angeles Division of the Academic Senate in 1974/1975.

He was a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. He received its gold medal and in 1991 its William D. Coolidge Award. Memberships in other professional societies include Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology (Fellow), Institute of Physical Sciences (Fellow), Society of Nuclear Medicine (President, Los Angeles Chapter, 1958), American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Los Angeles Radiological Society.

In retirement, Mo was active in the UCLA Emeriti Association. He was on its Board of Directors from 1984 and was its President in 1985/1986. His “Curriculum Vitae” dated December 9, 1994 states “As President of the Emeriti Association I instituted a study of emeriti housing needs and explored levels of possible cooperation with the administration on UCLA. A final report was submitted to Vice Chancellor Abrams.” Mo along with other UCLA emeriti brought the Panunzio Award to life. He along with Claude Fawcett helped institute “The Emeritus of the Year Award” at UCLA.

Mo’s first wife, Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield, died in 1982. He married Bella Kotkin Greenfield in 1984. She died in 2010. He is survived by a son, Richard Greenfield, an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego and a daughter, Carolyn Greenfield Sargent, a New York University administrator.

Ralph Johnson, UCLA, November 2012