Established in 2000 by the Board of Directors of the Baylor “B” Association, the Wall of Honor award recognizes Baylor letterwinners who have achieved prominence or honor because of meritorious accomplishments in public or private life following graduation. In addition, the person’s accomplishments will have brought positive public recognition, credit and honor to Baylor University and the Baylor Athletic Department.
This year, we celebrate Dr. Michael Attas as the 2020 Baylor “B” Association Wall of Honor recipient. Following his formal induction at the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame and Wall of Honor Ceremony on Friday, October 29th, Dr. Attas will be included on the wall, along with such names as Jack Lummus, Hayden Fry, Mark Hurd, Jay Allison, Clyde Hart, and Dutch Schroeder.
In an interview with Baylor Bear Insider’s, Jerry Hill, Dr. Attas said, “It’s hard for me to put into words the gratitude that I feel for Baylor and the athletic program. I don’t know what I would have done without athletics. I probably would have gone to UT and gotten some kind of degree, but I would not have had near the fulfilling life that I have, had it not been for Baylor sports.”
Graduating from Baylor in 1969 with a degree in psychology, Attas began a journey that took him to Galveston, Lexington, KY, Cheyenne, WY, and Denver, CO, before returning to Waco in 1983. Earning his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1973, he did his training in internal medicine, cardiology and pediatric cardiology at the University of Kentucky. As a cardiologist and clinical associate professor, he commuted from Cheyenne to Denver two days a week to teach, do research and perform procedures. Dr. Attas moved back to Waco in 1983 when he joined a few of his med school classmates with Waco Cardiology Associates. He retired as chief cardiologist at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in 2017. During this busy period in his life, Attas added a Master of Divinity from Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 1999. It was at those crossroads that Attas helped establish the first national undergraduate program in medical humanities at Baylor in 1999. He also directed the program and was successful in securing funding from the DeBakey Medical Foundation for outstanding medical humanities students.
Dr. Michael Attas has lived a busy and accomplished life, full of unexpected turns. During the most exhausting period of his life, he worked 70 to 80 hours a week as chief cardiologist at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, taught two classes per semester in the Medical Humanities program he founded at Baylor and preached at St. Paul’s Episcopal on Sundays. And in his spare time, he served as a fishing guide, being an expert fly fisherman, at his second home in Colorado. In 2012, he co-authored the book, Fly Fishing – The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice, with Jewish Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer. But now retired, Dr. Attas and his wife, Gail, spend half the year in Waco and the other six months at their home in Colorado.
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