UK College of Medicine Celebrates 50 Years

Published 10-29-2010 2:13 PM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  

On October 15, we held our College of Medicine 50th Anniversary signature event at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. What can I say, it's been a great 50 years.  It was wonderful to see all of the people who represent the college of medicine including those from the past, present and future. College of medicine alumni represented the past, current medical students represented the present and elementary school students from Fayette County represented the future. It was a great evening venturing through the rooms that highlighted each decade of the college of medicine with themed music and food. Then of course the signature cake. Charm City Cakes baked the cake that was so anticipated. The design that won the voting contest was finally unveiled- see below. 

Highlighted in the UK news release, my good friend and Interim Dean, Dr. Emery A. Wilson said, "Over the past half century, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has been reaching beyond as the state's flagship medical school to educate the best physicians and researchers, provide patient care across the Commonwealth and conduct breakthrough biomedical research. This year-long celebration is the perfect way to honor the College's rich history and prepare for an even more promising future."                   

It has been so interesting to read about the history of the college of medicine and how it has evolved over the years. More than 50 years ago, ground was broken for the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Medical Center. The university and academic medical center immediately became a cornerstone for educating top physicians, providing outstanding health care, and conducting breakthrough medical research. When the UK College of Medicine first opened its doors, it received more than 400 applications and admitted its first class of 40 students, including 39 men and 1 woman; 33 were Kentuckians, the other seven represented five different states. In 2010, the College admitted 113 students after receiving 2,026 applications. The entering class of 2010 included 48 women and 67 men. Two foreign countries, 15 other states, and 35 Kentucky counties were represented, with 45 students being from rural areas.        

Currently we have more than 9,000 alumni, including medical students, graduate research students and house staff, practicing in all 50 states and several countries around the world. In total, 2,730 alumni are currently practicing across the Commonwealth, generating $6.3 billion annually into Kentucky's economy, according to UK's Office of Health Research and Development. I look forward to the many research breakthroughs and innovations that the UK college of medicine has in store. Congratulations on 50 years of excellence!                     

For more information see the following news release from UK Public Relations:



During Dean Wilson's opening remarks, members of the College's "past" (alumni from the Class of 1964), "present" (current medical student leadership) and "future" (elementary school children from Fayette County) were presented to the crowd.


After months of votes from faculty, staff and students, the winning cake - baked by Charm City Cakes - was unveiled to the crowd. The College's three missions - education, research and clinical service - were represented on the cake along with several other symbols closely related to health care.


"Present" and "future" medical students mingled backstage prior to the start of the event.


 A captivated audience of more than 600 people gathered in Keeneland's Sale Pavilion Arena as the 50th Anniversary Signature Event commenced. 


Various "decade stations" were scattered throughout the venue. Each station was uniquely themed with food, drinks and music from that particular era in time.

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