Gift creates one home for Medical School class photos

From the Summer 2014 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

VUSM students, Ryan McGrath '14, left, and Mitch Odom, '15. Photo by Anne Rayner.
VUSM students, Ryan McGrath ’14, left, and Mitch Odom, ’15. Photo by Anne Rayner.

For decades, the composite photos of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduating classes could be found spread all around the Medical Center. Some were framed and hung, while others were stowed in desk drawers or archived in various locations.

Thanks to the graduating classes of 2014 and 2015, the Vanderbilt Alumni Association and Eskind Biomedical Library’s Historical Collections department, the photos are now on permanent display on the second floor of Light Hall. Future graduating classes will also be included in the exhibit.

A team of students and Medical School administrators began meeting in late 2013 to devise a plan to locate the graduating class photos. The team searched far and wide to collect framed photos of each class dating as far back as 1889.

“There is such a long tradition at Vanderbilt when it comes to the School of Medicine,” said Ryan McGrath, president of the Class of 2014. “I don’t think a lot of students are aware or even have a full appreciation of how far the school has come. Through this display, people will be able to walk through the history of the school.”

The exhibit was unveiled May 8 during Class Day Awards celebrations, where awards are given in recognition of academic achievement and service to the school.

“We were happy to get the chance to do something really meaningful for the school and happy to have been able to cooperate with the graduating class for this gift,” said Mitch Odom, president of the Class of 2015.