First Gala To Support Medical Student Scholarships Is Grand Success

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NEW BRUNSWICK – The inaugural Scholarship Gala hosted by UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Foundation of UMDNJ proved to be an exceptional evening, raising approximately $195,000 in support of medical student scholarships. More than 250 alumni, faculty, staff and students joined in the celebration held April 2 at the Heldrich Hotel, in addition to leadership from 11 of the medical school’s hospital affiliates from throughout New Jersey.

“All proceeds from the event will support our medical students who are being challenged by increasing tuition rates as they enter medical school on the way to becoming physicians,” said Peter S. Amenta, MD, PhD, dean of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the emcee for the evening. “The Scholarship Gala allowed alumni, together with faculty and friends of the medical school, to give back by providing financial assistance to this next generation of physicians.”


Three exemplary individuals were honored at the Gala for their dedication to promoting medical and scientific education, research, philanthropy, patient care and community health. Roger S. Fine, Esq., retired vice president and general counsel for Johnson & Johnson, and chair of the Foundation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, received the Meritorious Service Award for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of the medical school; Neil Calman, MMS ’73, MD, ABFP, FAAFP, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health, and a clinical professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York City, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his vast accomplishments in community health; Aaron J. Shatkin, PhD, director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine and professor of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology & Immunology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, received the Honorary Alumni Award for his work in advancing scientific research and mentoring.

“In an age of increasing tuition costs in medical schools across the country, it is more important now than ever to support physicians of the future,” said George F. Heinrich, MD, vice chair and CEO of the Foundation of UMDNJ. “This gala provided us with a wonderful opportunity to show these future doctors that we encourage their efforts as they work toward realizing their own dreams of helping those in need.”

During the celebration, a video was presented that featured three student scholarship recipients, each with a unique story explaining how their scholarship helped them pursue their dream of becoming a physician. The video presentation can be viewed at: .

The evening was topped off with a silent auction, which featured donated items and services from community neighbors, faculty and staff members.

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