Dear Colleagues-Friends,

As we look forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of our graduating colleagues, we are very pleased to announce that Darrell Kirch, M.D., president emeritus of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), will serve as the speaker for the VCU School of Medicine Hooding Ceremony. The ceremony will be held Friday, May 8, 2020, at 3 p.m. at the VCU Siegel Center.

A distinguished educator, biomedical scientist and clinician, Dr. Kirch served as president and CEO of the AAMC from 2006 until 2019. He speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system and about how academic institutions can lead change across education, research and health care for their communities and beyond.

Dr. Kirch trained as a psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist at the University of Colorado and began his academic career at the National Institute of Mental Health where he served as chief of the Schizophrenia Research Branch and the acting scientific director in 1993. Dr. Kirch then became dean, university senior vice president and academic health system leader of two institutions: the Medical College of Georgia and the Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center prior to becoming AAMC president.

As a respected university leader, Dr. Kirch has chaired the Washington Higher Education Secretariat and served as a member of the American Council on Education Board of Directors. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and he has been active in multiple initiatives of the National Academies. In addition, Dr. Kirch currently serves as co-chair of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience and as a member the Board of Regents of the American College of Psychiatrists.

All faculty are cordially invited to attend the Hooding Ceremony and join the academic processional. The Class of 2020 would appreciate seeing the individuals who have been instrumental in helping them reach this special day. Additional information about the event is forthcoming from the Student Affairs Office.

Faculty attendees uniformly report that this is a worthwhile and memorable event that celebrates our students and the educational excellence of our school. I hope you will join us to hear Dr. Kirch’s inspiring message to our graduating students and celebrate their accomplishments in one of the highlights of our academic year.

We appreciate all the demands on your time and are grateful for your support and commitment to our students.

With all good wishes,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Interim CEO, VCU Health System, and Senior Vice President, VCU Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System