Lally Shields - who was presented an honorary doctorate of science degree at Notre Dame's 2005 commencement ceremony - is the associate director of oncology service at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, working alongside her husband Dr. Jerry Shields, the director of oncology service at Wills.
She earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh ('83) and completed her residency in ophthalmology at Wills ('84-'87). The former leader of the Irish women's basketball program is the author or co-author of five textbooks, some 700 articles in major journals and more than 140 textbook chapters. Sheilds was the first woman to receive the Donders Medal (in 2004), presented by the Netherlands Ophthalmologic Society every five years to an ophthalmologist of world fame and outstanding merit.
In her undergraduate days, Lally was the first female student-athlete to receive the Byron Kanaley Award for excellence in academics and leadership, the highest honor given to Notre Dame student-athletes.
Dr. Shields also has served as a consultant at the local Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and Fox Chase Cancer Center, in addition to being a professor of ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University. Her many awards include: the aforementioned 2004 Donders Medal (she presented a lecture on developments in the management of intraocular tumors); the Macula Society's 2002 Rosenthal Award, given to a promising researcher and clinician under 45 years old for excellence in macular diseases; and the 2001 Merrill Reeh Award, in recognition of her outstanding publication of pathology articles related to ophthalmologic plastic surgery. She also was featured at the West Virginia University's Hutchinson Lecture in 2001.
After graduating with honors from the Pittsburgh medical school, Dr. Shields interned at Mercy Hospital ('83-'84) before serving her three-year residency at Wills. She has received several noteworthy fellowships, including one from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation fellowship and a 1988 fellowship in London for the study of orbital and eyelid tumors and reconstruction.
Philadelphia Magazine has recognized Dr. Shields as the city's "top doctor" six times in the past decade ('94-'97, '02 and '05) and its May 1997 cover story praised her as a "physician with international prominence."
Lally Shields has served her alma mater as a member of the Notre Dame College of Science advisory council since 1989 and she recently was nominated by Notre Dame for the NCAA's prestigious Silver Anniversary Award.
Carol Lally came to Notre Dame in the fall of 1975 as an accomplished high school athlete and promising student in the science field. Women's basketball had yet to earn varsity status at Notre Dame during the mid-1970s but she was a starter on the school's club team during her first two years - before leading the varsity in scoring during the first two years of the program's history ('77-'78 and '78-'79).
Lally - whose sister Maggie played on the first four varsity teams at Notre Dame ('77-'81) - served as team captain during her senior season and received the team's Rockne Student-Athlete Award for that 1978-79 season before graduating summa cum laude with a 3.91 cumulative GPA. She received the Lawrence Baldinger Award, which recognizes the top graduating seniors for excellence in the pre-med curriculum.
Originally from Sharon, Pa., Lally excelled in several sports at Kennedy Christian High School - including a third-place finish in the long jump at the 1975 state track-and-field meet (she also twice was a finalist in the mile relay). She was the first female student to serve as president of the student council at KCHS and - somewhat fortuitously - received the 1975 Bausch and Lomb Award for excellence in science.
Carol and Jerry Shields reside in Bryn Mawr, Pa., with their seven children (ages as of June 20, 2005): Jerry (17), Patrick (16), William (15), Margaret (14), John (12), Nellie (9) and Mary (5).
Dr. Carol Lally Shields