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Thursday, August 09, 2012
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake extended a warm welcome to the Class of 2016 during a special orientation event on Thursday, August 9, 2012. University of Maryland President Jay Perman, MD, and Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, were also on hand to welcome the students during their day-long introduction to the School of Medicine – just weeks before their medical education officially commences this fall.
The mayor, herself a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, acknowledged in her remarks a long-standing rivalry between the two schools as well as the growing diversity of students. She commented on the great pride she sees in University of Maryland alumni and alluded to an earlier era when her own mother was a medical student, a time when there were just five women and two African Americans in the school. “Just look at how far we’ve come as a community and as a school.”
“Baltimore really is a city on the move,” she said. “The thing that gets me excited and gets me out of bed every morning is the promise of the future, Baltimore’s future.” The mayor shared examples of the city’s safety and vitality. She urged the incoming students to enjoy their time together and invited them to become active participants in the Baltimore community that will become their home. “It’s a great time in your life and I hope you make this the best opportunity to learn, to do and to give back, to participate in the things we’re doing in the city.”
In all, 160 students attended the special event held in the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center – a low key event that was first preceded by a lunch and then followed by measurements for their white coats. It also included the introduction of key class officers and SOM faculty, as well as the taking of their official photo, the distribution of locker combinations and laptops.
A festive spirit was generated by David Mallott, MD, director and associate dean of the Office of Medical Education, who before the mayor’s introduction led a spirited Q&A that visually illustrated the diversity of the student population. There were questions that spotlighted where the students were from, what they majored in, their extracurricular pursuits and their international travels. Though many were from Maryland, two were from Canada. Close to three dozen have already travelled to more than five non-English speaking countries. Just several were married and only two had children. Though many in Class of 2016 speak more than one language fluently, two spoke more than three. There were eight violinists in the contingency and three who had served as editors at the collegiate level.
The School of Medicine’s yearly orientation includes events that take the better part of a week and includes both on-campus activities as well as outings this year to an Orioles game and to the Maryland Science Center. Throughout, the exchanges are marked by a budding camaraderie and shared excitement for what the future holds.
“I really enjoy meeting so many people,” said Michelle Ho, an incoming student originally from North Potomac, MD, of this year’s orientation. “It was kind of inspiring to hear the mayor and to see how much pride there is,” added Lauren Lin, a student from Northern Virginia. “I like how she included us.” Notes Rachel Warsco, who hails from Indiana: “One thing I really appreciated is how much time they took to make sure we get so much time together - and for the mayor to take time out of her busy schedule to welcome us.”
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to medical students
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with University of Maryland President Dr. Jay Perman