The annual Rinker-Witherington Society meeting took on special significance in 2011 by honoring the retirement of Dr. Ron Lewis as chair of Urology with a festschrift.
In academia, a festschrift is a publication honoring a respected person, especially an academic, and presented during his or her lifetime. The term, borrowed from German, could be translated as celebration publication, or celebratory (piece of) writing. The word has become widely used internationally.
Dr. Lewis served as chief of urology for 16 years, and was instrumental in developing the section's highly regarded and rigorous fellowship program.
A festschrift contains original contributions by the honored academic's close colleagues, often including his former students, and is typically published on the occasion of the honoree's retirement. It can be anything from a slim volume to a work in several volumes. Increasingly, festschriften are being compiled and published by electronic means. An electronic festschrift is often called a webfestschrift. The essays usually relate in some way to, or reflect upon, the honoree's contributions to their scholarly field, but can include important original research by the authors that have had close working relationships or collaborations with the honoree over the course of his career. Many festschriften also feature a tabula gratulatoria, an extended list of academic colleagues and friends who send their best wishes to the honoree.
Several outstanding visiting speakers, who have been associated with Dr. Lewis as colleagues or trainees over the course of his career, presented at the meeting. Their presentations are published in this webfestchrift and associated tabula gratulatora.