“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

-William Cullen Bryant


Dear Colleagues and Friends,


That First Taste… Of Fall

It’s back! That first cool crisp in the morning air, that brilliant blue sky and the first few colorful leaves have fallen. Fall has absolutely arrived and while it is glorious here at the home base of Georgia’s medical school, we so wish everyone could also have been us this week at our newest campus based in Rome. All of the above fall factors were turned up just a bit as we visited with our alums up that beautiful way as well as our soon-to-be-alums, AKA, our third- and four-year students who are living and learning in Northwest Georgia. Our 1985 graduate, radiologist Dr. Joe Burch, was our host for this wonderful Alumni Association gathering. Our Northwest Campus Assistant Dean Dr. Leonard Reeves, who has done an amazing job developing this campus, talked with this super-supportive group about what’s educationally up and helped ensure everyone had a great time to boot. Fourth-year student Bradley Cagle and third-year John Licata thanked the local alumni, many of who were in attendance that night, for sharing their invaluable insight about medicine. Did you know we have more than 300 clinical faculty up that way helping educate/inspire the next generation? What else is there to say?


Is Familiar and Fabulous…

Well, of course, we are so fortunate to always have plenty more to say about our powerful partners all over this glorious state. As we have discussed, but as always bears repeating, the entire Rome community has absolutely embraced our students and their medical school. Our institutional partners, including Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center, the Harbin Clinic, Berry College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Georgia Highlands College have been and are just terrific. Dr. Paul Ferguson and our chamber colleagues, such as Al Hodge and Frank Barron, who were there to cheer on the concept of this campus, have remained there for the reality. Again, what else can you say but thank you and thank you again.


And, Like You, Inspires a New Spring… In Our Step

One thing you can say is that we also had a fabulous time in Albany toward the tail end of last week where yet another regional reception rocked! So many roads keep bringing us back to our first regional campus, which has just turned 10! Down that outstanding way, our Dr. Bill Fricks, Class of 2000, was the amazing host and the dry-witted Dr. Granville Simmons, AKA Southwest Campus Associate Dean, was there to give us all an update on this essential endeavor. Fourth-year student Prianka Kandhal, like her fellow students in Rome, thanked everyone for their support of medical education and medical students. This was also super cool and exciting: Dr. Chip Moree, an anesthesiologist and a member of our Class of 1978, gave an update on the groundswell effort to build dedicated housing for students on the campus of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, which, of course, is where our Southwest Campus is based. Once again, it is just hard to find the right words, but no doubt we have found the right people across our state – and/or they found us – to make some marvelous medicine magic happen. Of course you know our Dr. Buffi Boyd, Class of 1999 and our Alumni Association president extraordinaire, was with us for both these celebrations. Who could ask for anything more? See http://bit.ly/1jDxnqn.


Our Visits and Relationships… Across Our Great State…

Well, how about an alumni reception in Savannah! You know we just love this area of our state as well. Our 1971 graduate Dr. Melvin Haysman, an allergist, and his wife Roberta Kamine-Haysman, absolutely opened their doors and hearts to us. We had just a lovely time at their beautiful home on the banks of Vernon River, which is born in Savannah and flows into the tidal marshes. Can you say seriously scenic! Just breathtaking views and support down this way as well. Senior Class President Stephen Jackson, who so wowed us at White Coat this past Saturday, wowed us again at this event with his support for and true understanding of his medical school. Dr. Wayne Rentz, our Southeast Campus Associate Dean, wowed us as well with his amazing tales of medical education in that part of the state. Again, just a terrific, informative gathering of great colleagues. We were super fortunate that the Medical Association of Georgia was also having a meeting down that way so some of their leaders were able to join in the fun. Have we mentioned that Dr. Boyd, who practices in this great southern city, did rotations down that way when she was in medical school and that our Senior Class President Stephen is finishing up his fourth year down that way now. Terrific.


Absolutely Do the Same…

We still have so much wonderful news to share that it’s hard to know where to go next but how about Athens and Northeast Georgia. A super piece ran recently in Georgia Health News by Sydney Devine about our student-run clinic for the underserved in that beautiful city. It’s hardly surprising that, as soon as medical students hit the ground in Athens, they said they wanted just such a clinic and we are so proud that they absolutely followed through. Check out the piece here, http://bit.ly/1X4PyUm. If this sounds like a wonderful déjà vu moment, it is! See about a quarter of a century ago medical students at our home base, right here in Augusta, absolutely made the commitment to do the same. You will be reading more about their super sustained effort soon as well, when the next issue of MCG Medicine magazine hits a mailbox near you (supposedly mid-November). We just have to take a deep breath here at the statewide commitment and passion for medicine and for a healthier Georgia. We guess we could be more proud, but it’s truly hard to imagine how.


So Does Knowing That You, Our Students and Graduates…

Remember Science Friday a couple of weeks back? Well this is definitely turning into alumni/student Friday and we love that theme as well. No doubt our alumni are supportive by any definition of that word. You would know that, even if all you ever saw about us was this weekly communication. No doubt, our alumni’s sharing of their time, talent, passion for their medical school, even their financial resources, is essential to our school, to their school. As so often is the case, this next excellent example brings us back to where we have already been, and that is Albany. The late and great Dr. Lamar B. Peacock was born in Albany. After graduating from Emory University, he contracted a severe case of polio, which left him strong in his resolve to be a physician. He graduated from our medical school in 1946, completed his internal medicine residency with us with the famed Dr. Virgil Sydenstricker, then completed an allergy/immunology fellowship at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Like so many of our alums, he would become a national leader in his field and with his medical school, serving both as president of our alumni association and chairman of our Foundation. In her estate, his sister, Marian P. Haley provided a $1 million gift that will permanently honor her brother and his profession with the Dr. Lamar B. Peacock, M.D., Distinguished Chair for the Study of Immunological Disease at our school. How terrific is that.


Are Our Legacy and Our Future…

As we start wrapping things up here there week, we wanted to share that this month we are calling  thousands of our alums to also ask for their support for student scholarship – to help us educate future Dr. Peacocks – and for the Dean’s Discretionary Fund, which enables support for a wide range of needs for our medical school. We are doing this once a year now, reaching out to our long-time givers, long-lapsed givers and everyone in between. We so appreciate the support of Kelly Schulte, assistant director of annual giving at the university, for her help in making this connection. And, of course, our alumni, for being there when we need them, which is always.


We Thank You for that Comfort…

Just a couple more amazing notes. We had just great response from our students and families about the White Coat Ceremony and all the fun and informative events leading to it. While the rain was pouring at times, so was the joy of putting on that iconic coat for the first time and of families sharing that glorious moment. Thank you again to the smiling and helpful Academic Affairs team, particularly Alise Vega, for making this happen. We also have to mention Class President Stephen one more time here, who told his newest colleagues: The white coat is a reminder of a promise – a promise to yourself not to lose your passion. I hope you keep that passion until the last day you practice medicine.” Indeed Stephen. President Keel reminded our students that they are the best and thanked them for choosing us. Indeed, once again.


And Inspiration…

Finally today, and in absolute keeping with great success in a city known for medicine andgolf, the recent 22nd Bert Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament, was a terrific way to do both. The event enables Mental Health America of Greater Augusta, Inc., to honor this exceptional golfer who struggled with bipolar disorder yet succeeded to become not just a great golfer but an advocate for others with mental illness. In the golf capital of the world, the tournament also provides support for a grassroots efforts in our community to enhance mental health care. This amazing community group’s efforts includes recently establishing the Phylis Holliday Mental Health Scholarship Fund to support at psychology student at our university. What students, what alumni, what a community, what a medical school. Thank you all.


Upcoming Events


The Alan Roberts, M.D., Mini-Medical school runs through Nov. 3, 6-8 p.m., Health Sciences Building, EC 1204, see http://www.gru.edu/ce/medicalce/minimed/ or call continuing education at 706-721-3967.


Oct 20 – GRU Office of Leadership Development hosts a public symposium featuring Elizabeth “Liz” Thompson, a leading nonprofit executive, at 3:30 p.m. in the Maxwell Theatre, Summerville Campus. This is the office’s inaugural session of Leading Lives: GRU Conversations in Leadership Series. Ms. Thompson is currently president of the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education and governing board chair of the University of Chicago Charter School.

Oct. 24 – President Keel’s Gala, a black tie event to support GRU and the Augusta Community, at The Quadrangle, on the Summerville Campus. Cocktails 6-7 p.m., Dinner and Dancing, 7-11 p.m. Visit http://www.grupresidentsgala.com/#the-gala for more information and tickets.

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.

Oct. 30 – Alpha Omega Alpha Induction Ceremony, Lee Auditorium, 4 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.

Nov. 13 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Health Sciences Building, EC 1210.

Nov. 18 – Faculty & Staff Service Recognition Dinner honoring employees with 20, 25, 30, or 35 years of service, Legends Club, 6:30p.m.

Nov. 19 – Great American Smokeout Commit to Quit, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., JSAC Breezeway, Summerville Campus; Harrison Commons lobby; Children’s Hospital of Georgia lobby. For more information visit http://www.gru.edu/tobaccofree/.

Dec. 6-8 – Liaison Committee on Medical Education Mock Site Visit

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

Dec. 10 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium

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.

Jan. 22 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 24-27 – LCME Site visit

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

Feb. 18 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting and Awards Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

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.

March 18 – Match Day, location TBD!

March 25 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

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 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend.

May 6 – Dean’s State of the College Address, noon, Lee Auditorium.

May 12 – Hooding 2016, Keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, location and time TBD.


Have a safe and fun weekend with those you treasure!

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