Alumni Reunion Weekend 2012: Alumni Day


Admissions Dean Stephen Nicholas paid tribute to his predecessor, the late Andrew Frantz'55 (whose portrait, by Christopher A. French'95, graces the wall of the Bard Hall Lounge). "If anyone other than Andy Frantz had told me I had the makings of a dean of admissions, I would not have listened. Andy saw in many people traits they did not see in themselves. And in my case, it is far too early to tell whether Andy was right or wrong. I can confirm one thing, however: He was right when he said that being dean of admissions is the most enjoyable job imaginable."

With 7,443 applications, an increase of 12 percent over last year, Dr. Nicholas reported that the school's yield – the percentage of accepted students who enroll at P&S – has climbed steadily to 56 percent last year, which was the third highest in the country and the medical school's highest yield in the last 35 years.

"It appears to me that the secret to P&S's success really amounts to a longitudinal process of self-selection, of self-agglutination," Dr. Nicholas hypothesized, with a nod to alumni in attendance. "For the Class of 1962, you who graduated 50 years ago, you came into P&S wondering what lay ahead. Your first legacy to P&S was to attract the Class of 1963. With a half a century of experience and accomplishments and memories, you members of the Class of 1962 are here to remember, but also here to continue to look ahead."

Despine Coulis'62 and Stephen NicholasReading aloud selected professors' comments from student records, Dr. Nicholas opined: "What we can confirm is long before there was genotyping, some of your teachers and deans were awfully good at phenotyping."



Class of 1962 affirming Hippocratic OathDr. Nicholas distributed certificates of "re-graduation" to members of the Class of 1962 and led all alumni present in the reaffirmation of the Hippocratic Oath. The oath text used was a modern version composed by the late Louis Lasagna'47, which concludes with the following words: "If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

Virtuoso Student-Alumni Concert

The student-alumni concert showcased such an astounding array of musical talent, the listener could not help but feel that the boon of such brilliance to the medical profession implied a loss to the performing arts. He consoled himself with the thought that the same fingers holding down catgut and striking piano keys would one day mend damaged heart strings and bring harmony to scores of discordant organs.

Impresario-pianist Peter Liou'13, the concert's mastermind, performed and later joined Drs. Kara Eubanks, from CUNY, and Anne Taylor, dean of faculty affairs, in a Brahms trio. Peter Liou'13

Accompanied on the piano by George Lu'15, baritone Joshua Marr'14 debuted an original Lied "Wild Nights" by Hanjay Wang'15. The composer joined a quartet of strings to stroke up a vibrant "Andante Cantabile" from Tchaikovsky's "String Quartet in D Major Op. 11."

Pianist Michele Lee'13 played New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk's rousing tribute to the nation, "The Union," composed in the wake of the Civil War. 

The pièce de résistance, Camille Saint-Saëns' wildly inventive musical narrative "The Carnival of the Animals," was narrated by Jay Lefkowitch'76, impersonating Noel Coward in red silk dressing gown and a Broadway take on King's English. The animals in the menagerie were ingeniously evoked by two violins, a viola, a cello, a double bass, a clarinet, a flute, two pianos, and a glockenspiel, played by medical students to an explosive burst of applause. The listener went away relieved in the knowledge that music may very well be the best form of medicine.