You can never truly relive a moment in your life, but you can relive the memories every
time you share them with someone else.
Tulsa physician John B. Forrest’s (BA ‘72) earliest memories are of sitting next to his
grandfather, Herbert A. Forrest, at Skelly Stadium helping to cheer the Golden Hurricane to
victory. Those cherished memories have now evolved into a mission for Forrest.
Forrest, along with six other people, has a very special goal — to fill Skelly Stadium for
the first football game. As a legacy, Forrest will never forget the moments he shared with his
family at the stadium and wants others to experience that same warmth in making their own
memories at a place rich with history and meaning.
“My earliest memories are of going to football games at Skelly Stadium with my grandfather,”
he says. “Both my grandfather and my father impressed on me at an early age that TU is one of
the integral pillars of this community, and that the continuing support of TU was a very
important issue, not only for the Forrest family, but also for the community in general.”
In fact, Herbert was so adamant on Forrest’s father attending The University of Tulsa, that
he paid a professor’s salary during the Great Depression to ensure his son graduated with a
degree from TU.
Forrest voluntarily paid the salary of his son’s biology teacher, Professor C.A. Levengood,
during a time when the university was forced to lay off many of the staff and faculty. Levengood
remained at TU for many years thereafter, eventually teaching John.
Forrest has continued to follow in the footsteps of both his father, Dr. Herbert J. Forrest
(BA ‘42), and his cousin, C.D. Forrest, who served on the TU Board of Trustees. But on Saturday,
September 24, 2005, John will make his own footprints across Skelly field when he’s honored as
a 2005 TU Distinguished Alumnus.
After making his mark as a leader on the TU campus, Forrest went on to medical school at the
University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1972. He completed his residency at the University of
Virginia and was an American Cancer Society Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute
in New York before returning to Tulsa to practice urologic oncology.
While a resident at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Forrest developed
an interest in patients who were in almost constant pain from interstitial cystitis (IC), a
chronic inflammation of the bladder that affects both men and women.
“Twenty years ago, IC was a ‘closet disease’, one not readily diagnosed,” he says. “Now, when
IC is diagnosed at an early stage, we can alleviate the symptoms.”
He’s now on the leading edge of research into the causes and cure for IC, playing an integral
part in reducing suffering for IC patients. His expertise in IC and prestige in the field of
medicine have carried him across the nation speaking to the National Institute of Health and
the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease in Alexandria, Virginia, as
well as around the globe in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland.
He recently completed his term as chief of staff at St. John Medical Center and will serve
as president of the South Central Section of the American Urologic Association in 2007, all
in addition to maintaining a successful private practice with the 16-member (soon to be 18)
Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma Inc.
Forrest’s knowledge is sought after in Grand Rounds where he discusses interesting cases with
other physicians and medical students around the United States, including Scripps Research Institute,
in La Jolla, California; Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio; and the University of Texas Southwestern Department
of Obstetrics-Gynecology, in Dallas. As an associate professor of surgery/urology at the OU Health
Sciences Center in Tulsa; a panelist and speaker at numerous conferences; and a published writer
in a plethora of medical journals and conference papers, Forrest continues to give back to the
He has served on the TU Board of Trustees, on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and as
president of the Golden Hurricane Club.
Forrest and his wife, Cheryl (BS ’74), are enthusiastic Tulsans and strong supporters of the
University as longtime donors and members of TU’s Circle Society.
“When it came down to it, Cheryl and I both felt a very strong pull to be with family and
community,” Forrest says of their decision to forgo job offerings at prestigious institutions such
as Cornell and Yale and return to Tulsa. The Forrests have two children, Bennett, who graduated
from Westminster College in Missouri, and Stephanie, a student at Texas Christian University.