The High Hopes Gala Honoree
Honoring Dianne Nunnally Hoppes and the Nunnally Family
When Dianne Nunnally Hoppes needed treatment for her diabetes, she thought nothing of travelling nearly 600 miles to Joslin Diabetes Center. While Dianne adored travel – her wanderlust took her and her husband, Frank, throughout Europe and the United States – trips from Richmond, Virginia to Boston were primarily to visit family. “My Joslin family” is how Dianne referred to her Joslin team whom she visited three to four times each year.
Known for her generosity in her home state of Virginia, Dianne demonstrated her gratitude for the care she received at Joslin through her generous philanthropy over the course of nearly twenty years. When, sadly, she succumbed to cancer in 2008, the Nunnally Family chose to honor Dianne’s memory and her exuberance for life with an exceptional gift to Joslin that would help fund research to better understand, prevent and reverse the long-term complications of diabetes. In recognition, Joslin renamed its complications lab The Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Laboratory for Diabetes Complications, marking the first time a Joslin lab has been named for a donor.
Under the direction of George King, M.D., Joslin’s Chief Scientific Officer, scientists in the Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Laboratory will continue their crusade against diabetes complications – an effort that has produced major advances in recent years. Recent breakthroughs include new drug targets for diabetes eye complications, investigations into insulin’s role in guarding against artery damage, and the groundbreaking 50-Year Medalist study, which looks at patients who have had type 1 diabetes for 50 to 85+ years with surprisingly few complications and who have been found to still have active insulin-producing cells.
The Nunnally Family continues to ensure that Dianne’s Joslin legacy will have the greatest impact possible on finding a cure for diabetes. This year, as part of the Massachusetts Life Science challenge, the Nunnally Family stepped up again to help secure the largest grant in Joslin history, which helped establish the Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes.
Dianne believed passionately in giving back and doing what she could to improve the human condition. She took great pleasure in supporting causes and institutions that she thought worthy. This favorite poem of hers embodies her spirit and life-giving nature that her family and Joslin will celebrate at the High Hopes Gala.
That woman’s a success who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent
people and the love of children;
who has filled her niche and accomplished her task;
who leaves the world better than she found it
whether by the perfect poem
or a rescued soul;
who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others
and gave the best she had.
Page last updated: May 19, 2013