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Jean Canellos became a charter member of the Friends of
Dana-Farber in its formative years when her husband, Dr. George
Canellos, returned from the National Cancer Institute in
Washington, D.C., to become chief of medical oncology at
Dana-Farber. Her insight and her ability to define the salient
points of any issue are invaluable tools in promoting the mission
of the Friends. She was deeply gratified in more recent years to
have been elected an honorary director by her fellow Board
Prior to becoming executive vice president with Founding
President Sheila Cunningham, Jean was a member of the earliest
Friends' By-Laws Committee which further defined the Friends'
purpose to support research, therapy, training, education, and
patient service programs through volunteer activities. The earliest
monies raised funded the first annual Friends' Fellow in Medical
Oncology which subsequently led to a permanent endowment for this
During Jean's term as president, the first major donation of
$100,000 was given to the Friends, encouraging a pattern of
considering the Friends as a conduit of large gifts to
Jean recalls several emotional periods in her life during these
years, including working with wonderful people to establish a
chapel providing solace for patients and families. Jean appreciated
the special care and kindness of the staff when her mother was a
patient, and it was heartwarming to learn that one of her mother's
platelet donors was the husband of another Friends' Board
She received a B.A. in Zoology from Wellesley College, an M.A.T.
in Biology and retraining for College Administration from Harvard
Graduate School of Education. After teaching secondary school
science and math, she worked on the admissions staff of Wellesley
College for 21 years. Jean was a trustee and corporator at Dana
Hall School as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the
Northeast Region of the National Conference of Community and
Justice, where she also served as a national trustee.
Jean has been married over 40 years to Dr. George Canellos, who,
after 20 years as chief of medical oncology, is currently William
Rosenberg professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and senior
physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's
Hospital. They have three sons: Peter, Washington bureau chief at
The Boston Globe; George, partner
in a New York law firm; and Andrew, a Web marketing manager.
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