Mark Bleiweis ’85, chief of pediatric cardiovascular surgery and director of the University of Florida Health Congenital Heart Center, is well-loved by his patients and their families.

His Facebook wall is filled with messages from grateful families thanking him for lifesaving treatment at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Mark performs about 300 surgeries a year.

He was recognized as the Alachua American Heart Association’s 2015 Heart Ball Honoree for his work.

Mark’s father was a Holocaust survivor who came to America at age eleven. Mark’s favorite class at Cornell was on the Holocaust history.

“My father didn’t talk a lot about it when we were growing up,” Mark remembers. The class changed things: “He could be open with me about his experiences.”

Today, Mark and his wife, Jennifer, are financial supporters of Cornell’s Jewish Studies Program, and they regularly come to campus to visit their eldest son, Max Bleiweis ’18.