(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is hosting a weekend of events July 28-29 to honor the first graduating class of Aggie doctors, the Class of 1981.

In conjunction with the reunion of the charter class, the HSC-COM also will welcome the newest incoming class of medical students, the Class of 2010.

Activities kick off Friday night with a Dean’s Welcome Dinner at the Reynolds Medical Building for the Class of ’81, new and current HSC-COM students, and former and current faculty. A tree dedication ceremony will honor the gift of 32 trees made by the charter class upon its graduation.

The Class of 2010 will participate Saturday morning in the time-honored tradition of receiving a white coat to signify the beginning of their medical training. The White Coat Ceremony is at 10 a.m. in Rudder Theatre on the Texas A&M main campus, and Jay Franklin, M.D., Class of ’81, is featured speaker. The event is for the new students, their families and friends, the charter class, and HSC-COM faculty and staff.

Also Saturday, the HSC-COM will host a wine-and-cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the rotunda of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, followed by the 25th Reunion Silver Celebration dinner and program honoring the Class of 1981 in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

True pioneers of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, 32 students began their medical training when the college opened its doors in 1977. Made up of 25 men and seven women, the class was comprised of all Texas A&M undergraduates except one.

In the charter class of 32, 14 students were admitted with sophomore undergraduate credits, 16 held junior status, and two were seniors. The average mean admission age was 20, with classes in the Olin E. Teague Research Center and the Animal Industries Building on the south side of the Texas A&M University campus.

Meanwhile, the 85 incoming students in the Class of 2010 were selected after a rigorous application and interview process. The HSC-COM received more than 2,900 applications for the upcoming academic year and awarded 714 personal interviews.

The college’s newest medical students come from 32 different undergraduate institutions, with 31 percent and 12 percent obtaining degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, respectively. The group has an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 and a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score of 28. Underrepresented minority students comprise 14 percent of the incoming class, which is 54 percent female.

Founded in 1977, the HSC-COM is committed to educating, training and equipping physicians who are compassionate about their patients and dedicated to the communities in which they serve. Located on the Texas A&M University campus and at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, the college consists of approximately 700 basic scientists and clinicians who instruct students during the course of their medical education. Its primary clinical affiliate, Scott & White, is ranked as one of the top 15 teaching hospitals in the country.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six 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, the School of Rural Public Health, and the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy.

— Marketing & Communications