Alumni Honor the Past and Celebrate the Future during SMHS Alumni Weekend
The 2014 Alumni Weekend, which took place on Sept. 19–21, was a spectacular event on a wonderful fall weekend. This year, nearly 130 alums and their spouses from the classes of 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 2004 participated.
The unofficial kickoff to the weekend began as esteemed SMHS alumnus Lawrence “Bopper” Deyton, M.D. ’85, M.S.P.H., who now serves as the senior associate dean for clinical public health at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, received the GW Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award (DAAA). The DAAA is the highest form of recognition given by the University and The George Washington Alumni Association to select alumni each year. Recipients of the honor are selected based on their lasting impact on society through outstanding professional, voluntary or philanthropic accomplishments. Deyton was recognized for his service as the first director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he led the creation of the science, regulatory, and enforcement foundation for implementing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009 – becoming one of the president’s first major public health accomplishments. Deyton was introduced by Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, RESD ’85, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, dean of SMHS, and vice president for health affairs, and the honor was bestowed upon him by GW President Steven Knapp.
The weekend was full of opportunities for alumni to reconnect and participate in orchestrated events where they met the faculty, celebrated to the tunes of Daryl Hall and John Oates, and enjoyed each other’s company. Peppered throughout the weekend were tours of the new Clinical Learning and Simulation Skills Center and the school’s Gross Anatomy Lab, as well as annual lectures that were delivered, including:
- The Allan B. Weingold Obstetrics and Gynecology Lecture, delivered by Michael Berman, M.D. ’67, RESD ’69, on “Stress Prevention Strategies,” and
- The Frank N. Miller Lecture, delivered by Lawrence “Bopper” Deyton, M.D. ’85, M.S.P.H., on “Physicians’ Role(s) in Health Policy: Our White Coat is Needed STAT.”
On Friday, Akman hosted his annual “Special 50th Luncheon” honoring the Class of 1964, who were celebrating their 50th reunion year, as well as H Street Society members, alumni who have already celebrated their 50th reunion and now are invited back each year to celebrate the school. The luncheon was a lively event with many stories and memories shared.
The weekend’s marquis event, the “Grand Celebration” at the Fairmont Hotel offered guests another opportunity to swap stories and catch up. At the event, Akman celebrated each class with a champagne toast. Additionally, he recognized the Class of 1979 as winners of the "Come Back, Give Back" challenge. The Class of 1979 had the most registrants – 24 alumni returning to Foggy Bottom – and had the highest cumulative giving to the school.
The weekend was a wild success and a great time had by all. The SMHS Alumni and Development team is already making progress on planning next year’s annual celebration. Next year the classes that will be invited for celebrations include the classes of 1965, 1975, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2005. If you are part of these classes, we encourage you to save the date for Sept.25– 27, 2015. Hope to see you there!