When Yale School of Medicine leaders described their plans for the school during the reunion held on June 3 and 4, they told alumni who returned to campus that they could help bring those goals to fruition.
“Yale is on the rise, and the students need our support,” J. McLeod Griffiss, MD ’66, told graduates during the all-alumni meeting that was part of the reunion.
Other school leaders echoed those comments during the reunion that saw about 250 alumni, friends, and family return to campus.
Dean Nancy J. Brown, MD, outlined ambitious plans for fostering a more diverse student body and faculty, expanding and renovating the campus, and fundraising for financial aid to make a medical school education at Yale more accessible. Her message to graduates was that they could help with all of this.
“You are a beacon in getting the word out about Yale. My office will work more closely with the alumni because the size and activity of this group is a tremendous benefit for this school,” Brown said during the annual meeting.
Griffiss said during the meeting that alumni have given money to Yale School of Medicine and met with students at predominantly Black colleges and universities to recruit students to YSM. But he said alumni can do more, especially when it comes to fundraising.
Helping the school build a strong future is important because, for many who attended the reunion, their Yale education helped them build successful careers.
“I would not have had the life, career, and success that I did without Yale. So, when I look at it, I owe Yale,” Griffiss said. “There is a feeling among us that we have an important role to support Dean Brown and make sure that the Yale system survives.”
During the all-alumni meeting, it was announced that the executive committee of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine had named Lillian Oshva, MD ’96, as the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
More than 40 members of the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 were present for the Kushlan Society induction, which recognizes alumni celebrating 50 years since they graduated.
“I did not feel confident about myself when I applied to medical school. To come back and be recognized is a tribute to the Yale education,” said Jesse Jupiter, MD ’72. He said the Yale experience stood out from other schools at the time and was what helped him have a successful career in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Alumni were called upon to help advance YSM in a number of ways. Promoting science that is the foundation of modern medicine is vital, and the alumni who’ve seen that science as students and practitioners make natural and capable advocates.
“An overwhelming sense of pride and joy emanated from the alumni community during the weekend. It was our first alumni event on campus in three years and everyone was so happy to be together in person,” said Erin Shreve, director of Alumni Relations and Giving at Yale School of Medicine. “It was personally satisfying to be able to welcome our alumni back and finally meet and thank our incredible reunion volunteers in person. Our volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the year to make sure we would have a successful reunion.”