Early in his career, Dr. R Adams Cowley vowed to build something at the University of Maryland that was better than anything any place else. He succeeded. The university's R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center has become the world's pacesetter in treating traumatic injuries. Because the center exists -- and because it has pioneered strategic advancements in trauma medicine -- thousands of people in Maryland and elsewhere are alive who would otherwise have never survived their injuries. Cowley, who died Sunday at 74, wanted to make a difference in this world -- and those lives are abundant testimony that he did.