In an unpredictable world, consistency is more meaningful than ever. The third Friday of March still means Match Day for our graduating class as they learn their residency destinations in this annual rite of passage. While Match Day 2021 will take place virtually, the spirit and excitement among our medical students remains high — and now School of Medicine alumni can join the celebration.

Alumni can support the next generation of physicians in two ways: send a congratulatory message to graduating students or make a gift in their honor.

Share well wishes with the graduating class by March 1

On Friday, March 19, the Class of 2021 will gather together over video to learn their residency training destinations. The School of Medicine will provide each student with a celebration box to open on Match Day to mark the occasion.

“We really want these students to be able to have a special and unforgettable Match Day experience, just like all of us had,” says Nicole M. Deiorio, M.D., associate dean of student affairs and professor of emergency medicine. “There’s no reason that a virtual ceremony can’t be just as meaningful and memorable with a little creativity.”

The Office of Student Affairs is asking M.D. and housestaff alumni to help personalize the celebration boxes by sharing messages of encouragement, best wishes and stories about their early days of residency. Student affairs will print the messages and memories to include as a card in the student celebration boxes.

Submissions will be accepted via an online form through Monday, March 1.

“This is such a milestone for our soon-to-be graduates,” Deiorio says. “I am so grateful to alumni who are willing to reach out and welcome the students to the profession of medicine.”

Make a gift in honor of the Class of 2021 on Match Day

The Class of 2021 has demonstrated remarkable resilience amidst what at times was a near-daily changing landscape. Now they’re preparing to join the frontlines serving patients in the midst of a global health crisis.

This year, 206 of our medical students prepare to enter residency; alumni, faculty and friends can help us to honor each one by making a gift to the VCU School of Medicine Annual Fund in support of student scholarships.

We’ve set a goal of 206 gifts to the Annual Fund  — one in honor of each member of the Class of 2021. If we reach this goal by the end of Match Day, March 19, School of Medicine Dean Peter F. Buckley, M.D., will make an additional $50,000 available for medical student scholarships.

Gifts to the Annual Fund represent a commitment to the next generation of physicians and will help create scholarships for next year's medical students. The dean's matching gifts will go to the Dean’s Equity Scholarship, which will help eliminate barriers to access for students of all backgrounds, cultures and socioeconomic status.