Greetings, fellow alumni!
When I became president of the Board of Directors of the Drexel University College of Medicine Alumni Association nearly two years ago, the death toll from COVID-19 in the U.S. was approaching 100,000 and we were beginning to gauge the enormity of the pandemic’s reach. Now, as the end of my term draws near, that number is nearly nine times higher. The persistence of the pandemic, presently in its third year, continues to impact and challenge us all in many ways. The Alumni Association has not only adapted, but thanks to the resolute commitment of the professional staff of the Office of Alumni Engagement and of our Board of Directors, we are thriving.
The board, which now numbers 26 directors from throughout the country, has met regularly despite the pandemic, as have the board’s four working committees: Awards, Cultivation & Engagement, Finance and Nominating. We continue to recognize and celebrate our alumni with awards, sponsor Drexel medical student projects and panels, and support students’ attendance at (still virtual) conferences. We have also introduced new initiatives. Thanks to the Alumni Association’s support, the Student Cupboard at Queen Lane, a student-run food pantry, has been up and running since the spring of 2021, serving the needs of students with food insecurity.
This winter, the board funded and launched the Alumni Association History Information Project, known more familiarly as AAHIP. The AAHIP, in partnership with Drexel’s Legacy Center Archives & Special Collections, seeks to explore and document the history and activities of the Alumni Associations of the College of Medicine’s predecessor schools. Preliminary archival research to date indicates that the alumni of those schools were strongly committed to their respective institutions and to their graduates. Two recently uncovered examples are most telling. It was the Alumni Association of Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania that organized and funded the Hospital and Dispensary of the Alumnae of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, which opened its doors in October of 1895. The dispensary delivered medical care to poor women and children while providing the College’s graduates medical positions and its students clinical educational opportunities. Forty-four years later, in 1939, the Hahnemann Alumni Association presented Hahnemann Medical College with new laboratories for the Department of Anatomy, with state-of-the-art equipment and the latest features! We are learning from AAHIP that the College’s Alumni Association of today, like the College itself, is heir to a long and committed legacy.
It has been a true honor and privilege to serve the Alumni Association as president of the Board of Directors. The directors are a wonderful and diverse group of physicians and scientists. They represent the best of our schools, and their steadfast dedication to the Alumni Association is manifest by their spirit of volunteerism, their work on the board and their generosity. I am particularly pleased and impressed that during each year of my term as president, 100% of the board participated in the College of Medicine’s Annual Fund! I am further delighted that Edward Siegel, MD ’12, MBA, who is currently chair of the board’s Finance Committee, will be installed as your next president at Alumni Weekend, taking place May 19-22, 2022. Mark your calendars!
All graduates of Hahnemann Medical College, Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Hahnemann University, MCP Hahnemann University, and Drexel University College of Medicine are considered Alumni Association members. We welcome your involvement and we are always glad to hear from you. This issue of the Alumni Magazine has information on board service in the pages that follow. You can email email@example.com or call 215.895.ALUM (2586) to share updates, send us your questions and let us know what matters to you as an alum. You can check us out on the web at drexel.edu/medicine/alumni, on Facebook or on LinkedIn, and you can connect with alumni and students by signing up for Dragon Network at dragonnetwork.drexel.edu.
Claudia S. Plottel, MD, MCP ’84
President, Alumni Association Board of Directors