Marshall School of Medicine Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Its First Ever Graduating Class

Marshall University’s School of Medicine held a 40th reunion last weekend for its first graduating class, the class of 1981. 

“This is special because the first group is special, but every group is special,” Marshall dean of the School of Medicine, Joseph Shapiro said.

 “It is not different because it is the 40th anniversary, bit it is more special.” 

“Those folks from the class in ‘81 are small in number, but their comradery is special,” Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, said. “They come back to the reunions and talk like communications have never stopped.” 

The graduating class from 1981 featured 24 students. 

“We were trail blazers and set the path for all those who followed,” said Patrick Bonasso, the first physician to graduate from the School of Medicine.

“Physicians were needed in West Virginia, and I never felt there would not be a school of medicine. Now, here we are 40 years later, celebrating the class of 1981.” 

This event was also the 10-year reunion of the 2011 graduating class and the 20-year reunion for the 2001 graduating class.

 Other classes honored at this year’s reunion included the classes of 1991, 1996, and 2006. 

This weekend’s reunion also included the celebration of assistant dean of admissions and student affairs, Cindy Warren.

To reward and honor Warren for the work she has done at Marshall, the School of Medicine dedicated and named a conference room after her. 

 The reunion weekend kicked off Friday with a noon luncheon between students and alumni, followed by a series of medical lectures.

Friday concluded with a reception and a banquet dinner in the evening. 

Saturday the alumni attended a tailgate in the afternoon before heading to the homecoming Marshall football game between the Herd and the visiting Old Dominion Monarchs. 

The Marshall football team ended the weekend celebration with an overtime win.  

The annual reunion will occur next year, but this year’s will remain significant as the Marshall School of Medicine paid tribute to its roots by celebrating its first ever graduating class from four decades ago.