It is with great pleasure that I announce the Class of 2014’s graduating students have chosen Sheldon Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H., as their convocation speaker.

He’s a geriatrician whose days are filled with young people. As VCU’s Senior VP for Health Sciences, he bears responsibility for the more than 4,500 students enrolled in the MCV Campus’ five health science schools. When he arrived in Richmond 37 years ago, he was a trainee himself. After earning undergraduate, medical and public health degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, the North Carolina native came to the MCV Campus for residency training in internal medicine.

The students may be hoping Dr. Retchin will share wisdom gleaned from his experiences as CEO of the VCU Health System where he leads an 865-bed hospital, a 625-physician practice plan and a 175,000-member Medicaid HMO that’s been celebrated as one of the few cost-effective programs for caring for an inner city, uninsured population.

Or maybe they want to hear how a love for swimming and music morphed into his patent for the SwiMP3™ underwater music player.

Whichever the case, the Class of 2014 has made a good choice. I’m looking forward to Dr. Retchin’s remarks as much as they are.

The medical school’s convocation ceremony will take place on Friday, May 9 at 3 p.m. at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Dr. Retchin has recently been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Seymour and Ruth Perlin Professorship in Health Administation and Internal Medicine.

Former Dean Jerome F. Strauss

Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System