The arrival of Ralph M. Waters as a faculty member at the new University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School in 1927 marked the beginning of the modern era in anesthesiology. Instruction in anesthesia was nonexistent at that time, and only a few self-taught men practiced the field. Dr. Waters' contributions to the specialty over the ensuing decades are legendary. Foremost was his contribution to anesthesia education. In creating the first academic program of anesthesiology in the United States at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Waters began a legacy of excellence that lives to this day.