Connections and celebrations the highlight of Homecoming Weekend

Sara Koyounian, BA’12

Thought-provoking, inspiring, and of course celebratory, best describe Homecoming 2018.

Hundreds of alumni travelled back to the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry to participate in the morning lectures, enjoy a delicious lunch, and dance the night away at the Dean’s Gala.

The day began with a revealing panel discussion on the opioid crisis. This in-depth conversation, moderated by Kate Young, MP for London West, looked at the effects opioids have on the community and the country. Attendees learned about what happens to the brain when an individual is using opioids and why it’s so difficult to quit from Steven Laviolette, PhD; and looked at the benefits of harm reduction with Drs. Sharon Koivu and Chris Mackie. They also gained a clear understanding of how London Police Services are tackling the issue from Daryl Longworth, Deputy Chief, Administration, and what current students are learning from Trystan Nault, Medicine Class of 2020.

Dr. Paul Polak, MD’58, founder and CEO of Windhorse International, and the 2018 Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer, gave an inspiring talk about the relationship between poverty and illness. During his lecture, Dr. Polak shared the journey that led him to focus on poverty and how it effects individuals and their families. He argued that “if poverty is more important than bacteria in the casual chain of illness, why isn’t poverty taught as a basic science in every medical & nursing school?” This idea sparked an engaging conversation. Schulich Medicine & Dentistry alumni are always pushing the boundaries and this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer did just that.

After the lectures, alumni walked together to the Physics and Astronomy building to enjoy a delicious complimentary lunch. There they reminisced about their time at School and shared stories before heading over to the football game.

The events continued at the London Convention Centre where alumni gathered to celebrate their reunions and honour the Alumni of Distinction award recipients. At the Golden Alumni Reception, Dr. Davy Cheng, acting dean, acknowledged alumni celebrating noteworthy reunions by pinning them. This year was particularly special as Dr. Douglas Bocking, former Dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, celebrated his 75th reunion and Dr. Hugh Allen celebrated his 70th reunion.

Alumni had a blast at the Dean’s Gala. The evening began with a game led by Dr. Robert Hammond, MD’87, professor, Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Neurological Sciences, and our MC for the evening. He challenged guests to match Alumni of Distinction award recipients with mysterious clues about their backgrounds. We learned that Eric Arts, BSc’90, PhD, is a cycling enthusiast and that Dr. Teresa Chan, MD’08, has a passion for fiction. Once again, students from the School’s various education programs presented the Alumni of Distinction Awards to each recipient. Once all the awards were handed out, alumni danced the night away to the Mac Graham Band.

Congratulations to the following alumni who received Alumni of Distinction Awards:

Professional Achievement
Dr. Paul Harding, MD’58

Community Service
Dr. Toni Zhong, MD’02

Excellence in Basic Science Research
Eric Arts, BSc’90, PhD

Young Alumni – Medicine
Dr. Teresa Chan, MD’08

Alumni of Distinction – Dentistry
Dr. Karen Campbell, DDS’82

Alumni of Distinction – Dentistry
Dr. Olaf Plotzke, DDS’77

Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Award
Dr. Paul Polak, MD’58


Reunion Celebrations

The Medicine Class of 1958, led by Dr. John Girvin, spent their Homecoming Weekend in London. On Friday and Saturday, they attended a cocktail reception, the Golden Alumni Reception, and the Dean’s Gala. Their 60th reunion was particularly special as they were honouring their classmate Dr. Paul Polak, MD’58, the 2018 Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer.  On Sunday, they finished off the weekend with brunch at David’s Bistro.

The Medicine Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th anniversary with a cocktail reception at the Idlewyld Inn & Spa. They spent their evening chatting about their time at School and catching up on all that has happened since. Acting Dean, Dr. Davy Cheng and Vice President (External) Kelly Cole joined in on the festivities to congratulate the class on their tremendous milestone.

The Medicine Class of 1963 celebrated their 55th reunion at Windermere Manor and at the Dean’s lunch.

1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
Drs. Tom Bell, Larry Kramer, and Dwight Moulin gathered the Medicine Class of 1973 for an evening of cocktails and a class dinner at The Hunt Club.

Led by Dr. John Tupper, the Dentistry Class of 1983 spent their 35th reunion at the Dean’s Gala.

The Medicine Class of 1993 celebrate their 25th reunion with the “greatest house party ever” hosted by Dr. Seema Luke.

The Medicine Class of 1998 celebrated their 20th reunion at the Dean’s Gala.

Drs. Teresa Chan and Harpaul Cheema planned a full weekend for the Medicine Class of 2008. They celebrated their 10th reunion with cocktails at Joe Kools, dinner at The Black Trumpet, and Sunday brunch at the Idlewyld Inn & Spa. Dr. Teresa Chan also received the Young Alumni of Distinction Award at the Dean’s Gala.

Take a look at some of the photos from the event. Can’t see the slideshow below? Click here to view.