by Wally Pregnall
College of Health Professions
When more than 8,000 alumni from a variety of degree programs want
to honor its graduates, deciding what kind of event and whom to invite
can be a bit challenging for most institutions. Not for the College of
Health Professions (CHP).
CHP, which seeks to build a sense of unity and identity among its
diverse alumni, sponsored a weekend full of varied activities
reflecting the college’s rich history, and invited everyone to the
Sept. 12 -14 CHP Alumni Reunion weekend.
College of Health Professions Alumni Hall of Fame inductees.
The reunion was part of a broader effort to reach
out to all alumni to honor their accomplishments and engage them in the
college’s newly-defined mission to achieve national distinction in
health professions education, research and service.
Hundreds of alumni, faculty, staff and students had an opportunity to
interact and participate in an awards ceremony, open house, continuing
education workshops, a fun run, golf tournament and a barbeque.
The weekend started Friday afternoon with the Alumni Welcome &
Awards Ceremony, which combined several ceremonies that previously had
been held during separate occasions throughout the year. The ceremony
allowed alumni and other constituents a chance to share in honors,
including the Presidential Merit Award, the Distinguished Alumnus
Award, the induction of CHP alumni into the newly formed Alumni Hall of
Fame; the presentation of student scholarships, and faculty and staff
CHP Dean Mark Sothmann, Ph.D., welcomed alumni
with his presentation, “Celebrating Our Past and Charting Our Future.”
MUSC President Raymond Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., and Provost John
Raymond, M.D., helped present CHP graduate Eleanor Durgee with a degree
in medical technology with this year’s Presidential Merit Award for her
exemplary service and support to the university.
Currently employed by the MUSC Center for Clinical Evaluation and
Teaching, Durgee has served the university in numerous volunteer as
well as professional capacities.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Ninfa Saunders, R.N.,
who completed her doctorate in healthcare administration at CHP in
2006. Saunders is executive vice-president for Health Services at
Virtua Health in New Jersey where she manages all health care
operations throughout Virtua’s four hospitals, two rehab centers,
senior services, home care, ambulatory and outpatient services.
In the new CHP Alumni Hall of Fame 21 previous Alumnus of the Year recipients, many of whom were in attendance, were inducted.
In addition to honoring alumni, the ceremony also provided a forum for
the presentation of student scholarships with 32 scholarships awarded
during the event, which allowed donors a chance to meet their
On Saturday morning, many alumni participated in
a fun run/walk of the Ravenel Bridge, a Health and Administration
Policy golf tournament held at Dunes West, or participation in program
specific continuing education workshops.
For Sothmann and the CHP Development Office, the weekend of activities
provided a chance to build new relationships and strengthen existing
ones with many of the graduates whose accomplishments have established
the foundation upon which the college seeks to build.
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008