The Alumni Were Here

The alumni were here! This past weekend we welcomed the largest number of School of Medicine alumni ever.

They toured the Health Education Campus, partied at the Global Center for Health Innovation, cheered our students and alumni award winners, mingled with one another, and exchanged memories and stories (and maybe a few tall tales). They also toasted the kickoff of the year leading up to our 175th anniversary and received (and cleaned out) the first shipment of special medical school pins made for the 175th.

Kudos to Jim Lieberman and the Medical Alumni Board and reunion chair Ava Shamban for organizing a fabulous weekend. And many thanks to the Awards Committee, headed by Tom Abelson, who presented a spectacular slate of award winners. Some were our old friends … with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, we said a final goodbye to Ted Castele, widely known and loved as the nation's first local television doctor. We thanked the Menges family for honoring the legendary internist Bud Menges and his wife Sally, herself an educator, with a full scholarship for one of our students. Poignantly, Sally signed the papers the day before she passed away.

We were delighted to receive Chuck Hoppel into the ranks of honorary alumni. The Clifford Vogt Award went to Jim Sampliner, who has engaged with our IQ groups and done a great deal for the Alumni Association. Several other accomplished alumni received Distinguished Alumnus(a) awards, including Deborrah Hyde, the second female African American neurosurgeon; Mark Kay, Stanford faculty member and gene therapy maven; and Alan Schwartz, a member of our Board of Trustees and recently retired chair of pediatrics at St. Louis Childrens Hospital.

Kent Smith received a special recognition award for his marvelous career at CWRU, and Tom and Brian MacDonald were awarded honorary white coats by second-year student Nichelle Ruffin, and first-year student Anise Bowman, both recipients of the Joan C. Edwards Scholarships that the MacDonalds oversee.

Wow! What accomplished alumni.

Our students from DocAppella performed a number from the most recent Doc Opera and had a chance to plug the upcoming Indiana Bones show. Find that old fedora now!

The mingling of students, faculty, and alumni was inspiring, and the mood was upbeat. We have graduated great alumni and are preparing our current students to follow – and even surpass them. It was a fabulous weekend. We can all feel pride in the School.