An Extraordinary Homecoming

It was a day of thoughtful and provocative conversation, inspiration and celebration.

Saturday, October 21, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry hosted more than fifteen hundred alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members for its annual homecoming events. While it may have been decades since some returning alumni graduated, their school spirit and purple pride remained intact.

A panel discussion about Pseudoscience kicked-off the day’s events. It was led by alumna, Dr. Jennifer Gunter, and included faculty members Drs. Marina Salvadori and Saverio Stranges, and Mark Speechley, PhD. Dr. Strong moderated the panel.  

The group discussed the facts and fiction of evidence-based medicine, along with how we can confront ‘bad’ science and increase scientific awareness and education.

Dr. Margaret Chan, BA’73, MD’77, DSC’93, was the 2017 Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer. In her hour-long talk, she shared her views on global public health, the epidemics she has encountered while serving as the Director-General of the World Health Organization and the progress public health has made since she first entered into the profession.

Dr. Chan is proud of her alma mater – and engaged students, faculty and community members throughout her visit back to campus.

Following the lectures, hundreds of alumni enjoyed a complimentary lunch before heading-off to the Homecoming football game to watch the Western Mustangs take on the Ottawa Gee-Gee’s.

The Homecoming Weekend celebrations continued at the London Convention Centre, beginning with a Golden Alumni Cocktail Reception, where alumni celebrating their 50 and great reunions were honoured, and a Schulich Dentistry Cocktail Reception.

Then it was on to the Dean’s Gala for an evening of dinner, dancing and the awarding of the Alumni of Distinction Awards. Students from the School’s various education programs attended the Gala and participated in the awards presentations.

And as each award recipient was introduced, a special piece of music they chose was played accompanying their walk up to the stage. Dr. Margaret Chan got things underway dancing to the stage to the lilting sounds of the Carpenters' 'Yesterday Once More'. Other recipients shared the meaning behind their choices which included the theme from Star Wars (Dr. Peter Leung); John Lennon’s 'Imagine' (Dr. Cecil Rorabeck); Fun’s 'We are Young' (Dr. Shawn Steele); 'Black and White' by Three Dog Night, (Dr. Paul Romanson); 'Look What You Made Me Do' by Taylor Swift (Dr. Zain Kassam); and 'What a Wonderful Life' by Louis Armstrong (Dr. Robert Bourne). Dr. David Spence ended the awards presentation and engaged the crowd in singing along to 'When the Foeman Bares his Steel' from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

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

  • Robert Bourne, MD’71, and
    Dr. Cecil Rorabeck, MD’68, DSc’09
    Community Service Award

  • Margaret Chan BA’73, MD’77, DSc‘99
    Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Award

  • Zain Kassam, MD’08
    Young Alumni

  • Peter Leung, PhD’79
    Excellence in Basic Science Research

  • Paul Romanson, DDS’72
    Dental Alumni of Distinction

  • David Spence, BA'65, MD'70
    Professional Achievement

  • Shawn Steele, BA’01, DDS’05, JD'13
    Young Dental Alumni of Distinction


View the photo gallery from the event. Can't see the slideshow below? View online here