First-Year Medical Students
Celebrate Founders’ Day

by WILL DOSS | photography by Nathan Mandell








“This was a page-turning moment,” said Brandon Caldwell, MS, a first-year medical student. “Medical school started to feel ‘real’ during orientation week, but when I recited the oath, it felt like it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Founders’ Day, an annual ceremony held Aug. 10 this year, welcomes first-year medical students to campus, honors Feinberg’s founders and marks the official start of the academic year.

Caldwell was one of the 160 members of the Class of 2022 who gathered at the event, celebrating with their family, friends and the second-year medical students who presented the incoming students with their white coats.

“I’m delighted to see the families and friends who have come to welcome their loved ones as they write the next chapter of the story of Feinberg,” said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “Founders’ Day is a tradition here in the medical school, but it’s also about the future. It’s where we start our academic year, a new beginning for students and staff.”

During his opening address, Neilson touched on Feinberg’s distinguished history and shared with students the unique responsibilities of the medical profession.

“An obligation to serve patients to the best of your ability no matter the circumstances is at the very core of the profession; this is the principle of altruism,” Neilson said.

“Founder’s Day is a tradition here in the medical school, but it’s also about the future.”

—Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean

The Founders’ Day address was delivered by Susan Quaggin, MD, chief of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine, director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute and the Charles H. Mayo, MD, Professor.

“Over the course of your careers there will be amazing changes that you can’t even predict,” Quaggin said. “From precision medicine and artificial intelligence to a focus on health disparities, it’s going to empower each of you to find your passion.”

Next, Diane B. Wayne, ’91 MD, vice dean for Education and the Dr. John Sherman Appleman Professor of Medical Education, led the white coat ceremony, where students don their white coats for the first time. This moment was a lifelong dream come true for many students, including Julia Murphy, a first-year student from Denver.

“My M2 sibling put the white coat on me,” Murphy said. “I liked the symbolism of doing it together, an older colleague welcoming you into the profession. It felt special to stand up in a crowd of clean white coats.”

2018 Entering Class Profile

undergraduate institutions

states represented

students selected from a pool of

students from underrepresented minority groups

years old




non-traditional (took two or more years off between undergraduate studies and medical school)