College of Medicine’s Dean Honored with “Alumni Star” Award

November 11, 2003

For Immediate Release
November 11, 2003
Colenda-Alumni Star
Contact: John Holder (979) 458-0669
Office of Communications
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
College of Medicine’s Dean Honored with “Alumni Star” Award
Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Dean of The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine, has been named as Virginia Commonwealth University’s 2003 Alumni Star in Medicine. Dr. Colenda is an alumnus and former faculty member at VCU’s Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine.
The 2003 Founders Day Alumni Star program, at which Dr. Colenda and 13 other VCU alumni were presented with Alumni Star awards, was held on Friday, November 7, 2003, at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, which is home to VCU.
The Founders Day Alumni Stars program is a university-wide event held in honor of the 1838 founding of Virginia Commonwealth University. Each of the university’s schools selects a graduate who has made significant contributions in the areas of humanitarian achievement, professional achievement, community service, or university service. Dr. Colenda was recognized for his significant humanitarian and professional achievement.
In a letter informing Dr. Colenda of his selection for the Alumni Star in Medicine award, Heber H. Newsome, Jr., M.D., dean of VCU’s School of Medicine, cited Dr. Colenda’s “leadership in the field of geriatric psychiatry and with [his] dedication to addressing the mental health issues of older adults.” Dr. Newsome also remarked that Dr. Colenda’s accomplishments “reflect proudly on this institution at which you earned your medical degree and held your first faculty position.”
“Rewarding alumni for their outstanding achievements is a wonderful way to remember what our graduates are accomplishing,” said Diane Stout-Brown, associate director of alumni activities at VCU. “Because this awards program is the only one where honorees are recognized among their peers before a university-wide audience, the event instills pride and provides unity, making people proud to be part of the university.”
Past awardees from the School of Medicine include transplant surgeon Bruce E. Jarrell, M.D.; brothers Milton Ende, M.D., and Norman Ende, M.D., who were instrumental in discovering the importance of umbilical cord stem cells for rebuilding the immune systems of people with leukemia and other cancers; Capt. Earl R. Fox, M.D., who, upon his 1999 retirement, was the last World War II veteran on active duty; and Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., who is credited with the characterization of the virus that caused the 1918 influenza outbreak which killed 40 million people worldwide in less than one year.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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