Annual Memorial Service

willed body students holding ceremony posters
Each year, to show their appreciation to the donors and their families, medical students and staff participate in a Memorial Service to honor these “silent teachers”.

2023 Virtual Willed Body Memorial Service – April 15, 2023

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we held a virtual ceremony this year. We thank you for your understanding, as the health & safety of our families and guests are our primary concern. Information for the upcoming service was sent to the primary next-of-kin for your loved one. Please note that if you have not received a letter, your loved one may still be teaching.

For our silent teachers who have elected to be scattered at sea, a private scattering of their cremains was held. A video of the private cremains scattering is below.

The 2023 Memorial Service Ceremony Program can be downloaded here: 2023 Willed Body Ceremony Program (pdf)

2022 Willed Body Memorial Service – April 9, 2022

All videos of the 2022 Willed Body Memorial Service held on April 9, 2022 are posted below.

The 2022 Memorial Service Ceremony Program can be downloaded here: 2022 Willed Body Ceremony Program (pdf)

2021 Willed Body Memorial Service – April 10, 2021

All videos of the 2021 Willed Body Memorial Service held on April 10, 2021 are posted below.

The 2021 Memorial Service Ceremony Program can be downloaded here: 2021 Willed Body Ceremony Program (pdf)

2020 Willed Body Memorial Service – April 4, 2020

The 2021 Willed Body Memorial Service held on April 4, 2020 are posted below.

The 2020 Memorial Service Ceremony Program can be downloaded here: 2020 Willed Body Ceremony Program (pdf)

The video presentation above contains the photos and/or bios that were submitted by the family and friends of the honorees by the designated deadline. The ‘2020 Honoree Picture Boards’ is an updated presentation, which includes photos received after our deadline.

2020 Willed Body Memorial Service 

WBMS Memo: COVID-19 Shuts Down Willed-Body Memorial Service at JABSOM

By Paula Bender, JABSOM Media & Communications

Those who were invited to pay their respects at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), Willed Body Memorial Service on April 4, 2020, will not be able to attend the event in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure sensitivity, plans are underway to create an honorable service that will be respectful of the donors and those who have only their memories to reflect upon.

Those who have received invitations will have to forego attending the memorial in person, as well as their friends and family. Last year there were more than 900 people in attendance at Wallace Rider Farrington High School in Kalihi. JABSOM will livestream the event via the link provided with the invite letter.

A memorial service has been held annually for our silent teachers since the inception of our program in the late 1970s. Services were made open to the public since the 1980s. The ceremony is held for those who completed their teaching programs and willed their bodies to JABSOM for anatomical education and training for future and current physicians and allied health professionals. For those honorees who requested their cremains be scattered at sea, they will be scattered during our next memorial service in 2021. If you wish to receive your loved one’s cremains, please contact us.

JABSOM apologizes for the inconvenience. However, we are making this decision in an abundance of caution to protect guests and students. As Hawaiʻi is in the early phase of COVID-19, these types of responses are critical to keeping the community healthy and safe.

Previous Memorial Service Highlights