UTHSC College of Medicine To Host Inaugural African-American Alumni Reunion April 26-28

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Dr. Alvin Crawford is the first African-American graduate of the UTHSC College of Medicine.  (Photo courtesy of the University of Cincinnati)

Since Alvin Crawford, MD, became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in 1964, 400 additional African-American medical students have followed suit, making great strides in the field of medicine. Now, many are coming together to reflect on the past, grow in the present, and establish a solid legacy for the future.

On April 26-28, the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will host its inaugural UTHSC College of Medicine African-American Alumni Reunion at the Memphis Westin Beale Street, located at 170 Lt. George W Lee Avenue. The cost is $185 per person. Registration is open through April 19.

“We celebrate the contributions of our African-American graduates of the College of Medicine to our school, to their patients, and to humanity,” said Scott Strome, MD, FACS, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean and vice chancellor of clinical affairs for the UTHSC College of Medicine. “Of perhaps even greater importance, this event recognizes how the courage and perseverance of these individuals created a path on which others can travel and use as a foundation to blaze their own trails.”

On April 26, the weekend will begin with a Medical Specialties Panel Discussion with the UTHSC Student National Medical Association (SNMA) on campus.  African- American alumni in various specialty areas will share words of wisdom and life experiences with the students from 2 to 4 pm. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., a welcome reception will take place at the National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel, 450 Mulberry St, Memphis. Museum tours will be offered.

On April 27, alumni will have breakfast with Dr. Strome and listen to his vision for the college in the Freeman Auditorium at the Hamilton Eye Institute, 930 Madison Avenue, 3rd floor, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Alumni will then tour the new Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, 26 S. Dunlap, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Alumni will have lunch with SNMA members from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 1 to 3 p.m., participating alumni have the option to do community service with the Mid-South Food Bank, 239 S. Dudley Street.

The reunion banquet will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westin Memphis Beale Street, Mississippi Ballroom. Dr. Crawford will be the keynote speaker. The weekend will conclude with an optional farewell brunch on April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon in Downtown Memphis. The cost is not included in registration fees.

In addition to activities, a scholarship will be funded for current and future African-American students of the UTHSC College of Medicine in order to minimize the debt burden that exist for medical education.

For more information about the UTHSC College of Medicine African American Alumni Reunion, contact Chandra Tuggle, assistant vice chancellor for alumni affairs, at 901.448.5516 or ctuggle@utfi.org.