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First-Year Students Eulogize Their Donors at 30th Annual Convocation of Thanks

Maxwell Nwaru playing the saxophoneFollowing in the footsteps of students who came before them for three decades, New York Medical College’s first-year medical, physical therapy and speech-language pathology students came together on April 27 to thank and eulogize the donors who gifted themselves to the study of anatomy. It was a full house at the Convocation of Thanks, a tradition at NYMC since 1988. Matthew Pravetz, O.F.M., Ph.D. ’88, professor of cell biology and anatomy, program director and assistant dean for basic sciences, opened the memorial service, then turned it over to the students who shared their emotions and eternal gratitude as well as their talents to the audience of family members and friends of the donors. Throughout the ceremony, students across the three disciplines expressed one unified belief—the lessons learned in their anatomy labs, taught by their donors, would stay with them forever. “They taught us about importance of human dignity and respect,” said Menasche Krupka, School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2021. View the 30th Annual Convocation of Thanks photo gallery.

To convey the magnitude of the impact that will come from the donors’ gracious anatomical gifts, first-year medical student Nikita Ahmad presented his case. “It is estimated that the collective Class of 2021 will care for one million patients per year, and the average physician practices for 40 years. That means 40 million people will be impacted because of your loved ones’ donations,” he said.

Students also took the opportunity to thank their donors with musical performances including a saxophone solo of Autumn Leaves by Maxwell Nwaru, SOM Class of 2021, written speech, or poem. The ceremony came to a close with a haunting vocal performance of Bright Morning Stars by Emily Groenendaal and Carolyn Ardissone, members of the SOM Class of 2021.