Dear Colleagues and Friends,
We Welcome our Alumni …
A great Friday to you all and an even grander welcome to the graduates of our medical school who have come home this week! We promised this was going to be an inspiring week and we are proud to say it is absolutely delivering with the formal investiture of our new president and the arrival of our great graduates back on their campus. We have the largest number of graduates returning home this week that we have had in recent memory and we are so very happy about that. We believe it is their commitment to their medical school and their deep respect and affection for one another that brings them home. We know we could not be happier to welcome them back.
We Congratulate our President …
It really is terrific that this annual alumni migration was packaged with the presidential inauguration. You could feel the excitement build over the week and the evolving realization of what we are and what we can be. As President Keel said, we have the power to shape this university into anything we desire, the opportunity to start by seeing ourselves maybe in a bit of a new light knowing that we have this opportunity and strength. No doubt our university will be a magnet for students seeking a STEM or cyber future. We are certainly glad that one thing he said we also absolutely will be is a top 50 medical school. What a powerful message for each of us who is privileged to work at Georgia’s public medical school, for those who do and will call it their alma mater, for those who seek care from our faculty and our graduates, for those who benefit from the discoveries of our prolific scientists.
We Contemplate our Future …
Gov. Nathan Deal, in town for the inauguration reminded us to have fun as we go, a premise followed by most of you as you lead, discover, serve and educate. Dr. Jere Morehead, president of the University of Georgia, who like President Keel is a graduate of the university he now leads, noted the unique challenges and rewards of leading a great university and President Keel emphasized the unique challenges and rewards of our very novel and new research university. It is definitely neat to think about our university as he put it: a four-year old university with a 188-year history that is the sum of many amazing parts that we are helping assemble.
We Thank Those … Who Got us to the Present
No doubt these kind of weeks are reflective ones. And with that mindset, we wanted to also note here that a long-time staple for our medical school, Dr. Jim Osborne, who has led the MCG Foundation for nearly 30 years, will retire this June. Ian Mercier, who has worked closely with Dr. Osborne for 15 of those years, will be transitioning from Chief Operating Officer to CEO. We have said in the past that Dr. Osborne is almost like an MCG graduate in the way that he cares about our school and in his tireless work to make it even better. Our foundation’s assets have grown during his tenure from $7 million to more than $200 million. A strong, passionate board, with Ian’s help, will continue to ensure that our foundation is strong. We thank you, Dr. Osborne, and wish you and Nancy the best is this important next phase of your lives.
And So Appreciate Those … Who Will Enable our Future
We also have been thinking a bit lately about how these writings so often focus on the work of our faculty, residents and students and, maybe not enough on the nearly 800 full- and part-time staff who in so many ways are the true backbone of what we do here. Since the many notable things about this week includes Administrative Professionals’ Day, we figured it was a great time to promise to try and do better. Critical to our core are people such as Teresa Pratt, administrative assistant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is just one of those go-to people. You call her and she calls you back and gets you what you need. She is an amazing juggler of busy schedules and, according to more than one source, you can just hear her smiling over the phone to boot. No doubt, you will see that smile if you catch her in person. People like Heather Snipes, administrative assistant in the Department of Neurology. She is one of those seemingly ever-calm, knowing and helpful people what just make this place run, sometimes in spite of itself. We thank you all for your commitment, your professionalism, your truly invaluable role in keeping this medical school going.
To be Ever Better
Even though it is not the traditional time for New Year’s resolutions, out of respect for all your busy schedules, we also are going to try again to be a bit more brief in these writings. We have to say though, the fact that you all are so amazing and so productive makes it tough to tighten up. But we will definitely give it a go. So, as we begin to wind down today, once again, we find ourselves where we started with the commitment to being a top 50 medical school and the reality that you are already the best in so many objective and subjective ways. As a great example, our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, led by Medical Director Dr. Yong Park, Co-Medical Director Dr. Anthony Murro and Administrative Director Donald Hamilton, has once again received the highest level of certification by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. As so often is the case, our epilepsy team sees patients facing the most difficult cases of this very difficult condition and provides the highest level of care and compassion. Congratulations and thank you. Did you know our history as innovators in epilepsy treatment dates back about a half a century?
A Final Note
Finally today, our thoughts are with our colleagues at the University of Georgia as well as the family and friends of four students killed this week and another critically injured in a horrific car accident.
April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend. On April 29, Department of Neurosurgery 60thanniversary lunch and CME, noon-4 p.m., BI3079; MCG Dean’s Reception, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Education Commons followed by MCG Alumni Association Banquet, 6:30 p.m., also at the Harrison Education Commons. April 30, MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m., Harrison Education Commons; President’s Cookout, noon-2 p.m., at president’s home, Twin Gables, 920 Milledge Road; MCG Class Reunions, starting at 6:30 at the Augusta Marriott for Classes of 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. May 1, MCG Emeritus Club Breakfast, Augusta University Alumni Center on 15th St., 9:30 a.m. Memorial Service, 10:30 a.m., Alumni Center.
May 12 – Hooding 2016, Keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, “The Physician’s Call to Justice: Healing Patients, Healing the World,” 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium, http://www.augusta.edu/mcg/students/hoodinggraduation.php.
May 13 – Graduation, 2 p.m., James Brown Arena.
May 26 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.
June 16 – Investiture Ceremony, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.
Aug. 12 – New date for the State of the College address, noon, Lee Auditorium!
Nov. 4 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.
Nov. 5 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.
Have a great weekend.