Open house, commencement honor first medical school grads

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A medical school community open house and a commencement ceremony at Miller Auditorium the weekend of May 12-13 will mark the graduation of the first class of young physicians to earn their degrees at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

Four years after beginning their studies in fall 2014, 48 students are successfully completing their time as the inaugural medical school class and moving on to the next step as physicians, entering residency training in programs around the nation.

To mark and celebrate what is a significant milestone for medical school students, their families and the medical school, a community open house will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus, 300 Portage St., in downtown Kalamazoo. The public is welcome and no reservations are required.

The following day—Sunday, May 13—students in the Class of 2018 will be honored as they graduate from WMed during a 2 p.m. commencement ceremony at WMU’s Miller Auditorium. That event also is open to the public without advanced reservation.

Community open house

The open house will be an opportunity to acknowledge the support and contributions of the community that have buoyed the medical school and will continue to be a key to the institution’s success in the future. 

Brief comments are planned for 2 p.m. in the auditorium.  Self-guided tours of the lower level Simulation Center as well as the first and second floors of the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus will be available to members of the community.


Like the community open house, the graduation of the Class of 2018 will be a chance for the community to help celebrate all that the graduating students have accomplished at WMed and what awaits them as new physicians.

Doors to Miller Auditorium will open to the general public at 1:15 p.m. The slate of speakers for the event will include the medical school’s founding dean, Dr. Hal B. Jenson; Dr. Peter Ziemkowski, associate dean of Student Affairs; and fourth-year student Jacqueline Dauch.

The commencement address will be delivered by Dr. Alan Shapiro, senior medical director of Community Pediatric Programs at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York. The event will mark a return for Shapiro to Kalamazoo.  He was the keynote speaker at the White Coat Ceremony welcoming the Class of 2018 to campus in September 2014.

Following the commencement ceremony, attendees will be invited to attend a reception in the Miller Auditorium atrium to cap off the day of celebration for the medical school, its students, their families and the community.

For additional information, visit the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine online.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.