“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Our alumni are simply the best…

We had another terrific show of support from our alumni for our students at the now 10-year-old Southwest Campus. Dr. Chris Mann, from the Class of 1987, who works tirelessly as a member of the MCG Foundation’s Board of Directors, hosted a welcome dinner for our third and fourth-year students who will be living and learning in that corner of our great state over the next 1-2 years. Our thanks also to Drs. Steve and Kay Kitchen, also awesome alums from the Class of 1985, for their support of that campus and our students. And did we mention that Dr. Granville Simmons, campus associate dean, is a 1974 alum himself?? We hear there was lots of great conversation and advice between our alumni and students. We simply cannot say it enough: MCG alums are simply the best and serve as great role models and mentors to our students.

They support education…

Speaking of Southwest Georgia, one of our fourth-year students, Vishal Goyal, spent some time in the south Georgia heat this summer, completing an elective rotation in public health. How cool, or in this case, hot, is that?? Vishal spent the month of July observing the many programs of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District, working his way through the many facets of public health: environmental programs, telemedicine, children programs and more. He’s the first MCG student to complete this elective in public health. Way to go! Read more about his summer here:http://bit.ly/1CLNQBB. And in another awesome show of support from our alumni, Dr. William Grow, Class of 1970, who is the district health director in Valdosta, wrote the curriculum for this exciting new elective. Great job!

Become donors for our smallest patients…

And there’s more incredible news on the alumni and philanthropy front. We learned earlier this month that Dr. Martha Smith McCranie, who was one of just three women in the MCG class of 1945, left our Children’s Hospital of Georgia a $278,000 gift in her estate. Dr. McCranie, described by her children as a tireless advocate for children and “adventurous, fun-loving, positive and unselfish,” always knew she wanted to give a gift to the medical community and we are beyond grateful and humbled that she chose us. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention that the former pediatric psychiatrist married her classmate and fellow alum, Dr. Jim McCranie, who was professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior from 1958-79. We’re lucky that he was able to convince his wife to come back to work at her alma mater as well, which she did until her retirement in 1981. Dr. McCranie’s generous gift serves as another example of the outstanding character and caliber of our alums!

And support the important work of our faculty…

And while we’re highlighting the absolute importance of philanthropy, we wanted to share a video of our Fourth Annual Investiture Ceremony, with those of you who could not be there to celebrate with us that night. You’ll remember that we honored seven new endowed chairs and the donors that made those chairs possible at the ceremony on June 25. We also celebrated our new Regent’s Professors, new Department Chairs and new Professors Emeritus. As our provost, Dr. Gretchen Caughman noted at the ceremony, all of our endowed chairs simply exemplify the core values of collegiality, compassion, excellence, inclusivity, integrity and leadership. It was a fantastic night commending the great work of our faculty. And, as always, we thank the leadership of our MCG Foundation for its stewardship of these amazing gifts. Check it out here https://vimeo.com/135705550.

Who are recognized all over the world…

And while we’re talking about our fantastic faculty, our Dr. Feng-Ming “Spring” Kong, a radiation oncologist who is associate center director for applied technology at our Cancer Center, was recently named a fellow of the American College of Radiology, one of the highest honors the college can give. They tell us that fellows must demonstrate a history of service to the college, the profession, teaching and/or research, and that only 10 percent of members ever achieve this magnificent achievement. Our congratulations to you, Dr. Kong!

For their achievements in research and education…

We’ll leave you today with another inspiring example of the type of research that’s going on at your medical school. Dr. Sylvia Smith, a retinal cell biologist and chairwoman of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, and assistant research scientist Dr. Jing Wang, have discovered that a receptor that helps protect brain cells also has an important role in supporting the cells of the retina. Without sigma 1 receptor, the Müller cells that support the retina can’t seem to control their own levels of destructive oxidative stress, and consequently can’t properly support the millions of specialized neurons that enable us to transform light into images. Why does that matter? Without support, well-organized layers of retinal cells begin to disintegrate and vision is lost to diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. These surprising findings make the receptor a logical treatment target some of the most progressive and blinding retinal diseases. Read more about it herehttp://bit.ly/1hyAFuc. Always amazing work!

Upcoming Events

Aug. 21 – Professionalism Forum, 9 a.m.-noon, Christenberry Fieldhouse on the Summerville Campus is an opportunity for all first-year students in the university’s professional programs to get together and learn more about professionalism in the health sciences. Sponsored by the GRU Division of Enrollment and Student Services.

Aug. 22 – The Richmond County Medical Society Leadership Program, Essential Tools for 21st Century Physicians, The Snelling Center at Edgar’s Grill in Augusta, Registration begins at 8 a.m., conference last from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. To register please visit, http://cmetracker.net/MCG/Login?formname=RegLoginLive&eventID=119772. Accredited for up to 4.75 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Registration before Aug. 1 is $25, after is $35, onsite is $50.

Aug. 24 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222 Health Sciences Campus.

Sept. 9 – The Education Innovation Institute hosts Career Development 101, 1:15-4:30PM in the Greenblatt Library, Room AB 108, on the Health Sciences Campus, for faculty with primarily clinical and teaching responsibilities. This faculty orientation event offers practical suggestions and resources on teaching, promotion and research.  RSVP to EDI@GRU.eduby Aug. 26. Participation fulfills the Preparing to Teach expectation for teaching faculty.

Sept. 12 – GRU Day of Service, http://calendar.gru.edu/event/day-of-service-2015.

Sept. 12 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Augusta, 6 p.m., Augusta Marriott.

Sept. 13 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Harrison Commons, 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 14 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

Sept. 15 – EII in collaboration with the GRU Cancer Center hosts, Career Development 101- Basic Sciences, 8:00AM – 12:30PM in Cancer Research Building, Room CN 1102, on the Health Sciences Campus.  The primary goals are to orient junior faculty researchers to the multiple, research-related resources on campus, provide practical career development strategies, and foster connections among research faculty.   RSVP to Lisa Middleton by Aug. 26.

Sept. 17 – University Senate Fall Assembly/New Faculty Welcome, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Alumni Center Ballrooms, Health Sciences Campus.

Sept. 21 – Medical Scholars Research Symposium, Harrison Commons, 11 a.m.

Oct. 5 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Oct. 8 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Albany, Doublegate Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 10 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.

Oct. 13 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Rome, Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 15 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Savannah, Home of Dr. and Mrs. Melvin and Roberta Kamine-Haysman, 6 p.m.

Oct. 27 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Oct. 29 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Valdosta, Valdosta Country Club, 6 p.m.

Nov. 2 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

Nov. 13 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Dec. 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Jan. 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus. 

Jan. 12 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Feb. 1 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Feb. 25 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Macon, Idle Hour Country Club, 3:30 p.m.

March 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

April 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

April 15 – MCG Alumni Association sponsors the Raft Debate. More to come.

April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend

May 12 – Hooding 2016, location and time TBD.

Have a great weekend!

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