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Students Honor First Patients During Convocation of Thanks

Students Expressed Emotional Gratitude for Those Who Gifted Themselves to the Study of Anatomy

May 08, 2023
Students Planting Tree Outside Sunshine Cottage
A memorial tree was planted outside Sunshine Cottage

“It was one of the most life-changing experiences I have had,” said one student. “I was awed at the interconnectedness and the beauty and diversity inherent in the human body. I gained an immense appreciation for what happens under our skin, and I will maintain that appreciation of the human body for my entire career.”

“I am now the recipient of an act of true kindness,” said a student. “How could we have learned so much without the generous act of your loved ones? My donor was a professor in life and through his donation, he was able to continue to teach others even after his death. I know I can never repay them, and I will never forget that.”

“I put my hand on my donor’s left shoulder before making the first cut and asked for forgiveness for the mistakes I would make,” said another student. “As the donor was a priest in life, he was probably very aware of the power of forgiveness. The gift he gave me will travel with me throughout my career. Thank you for these gifts -- I will carry it on.”

“Though my donor’s soul has moved on to the afterlife, she lives on through the impact she provided for our education as future health care professionals,” said a student.

Those gathered in Nevins Auditorium for the ceremony then moved outside for the planting of a memorial tree near Sunshine Cottage in remembrance of the students’ first patients and in gratitude to their families. As the event concluded, students remained on the Sunshine Cottage lawn to speak personally with the families about their experience and learn more about who their donors were in life.