It is a great pleasure to send you this newsletter with news of alumni and your alma mater. Kindly pass on to us any news that we could include in future newsletters, in which we hope to update you more fully on developments in CMC.
Annual Alumni Reunion 2007 (August 9 to 11)
Over one hundred alumni took part in the celebrations, many of them with their families. The three-day long programme got off to a start with tea on Thursday, the 9th, followed by a meeting in the Norman Auditorium. Selected departments in CMC presented the significant developments in their areas. On Friday, many of the batches had their own separate reunions, mainly catching up with one another. As usual the largest class reunion was of the youngest special batch (1982) from which 46 were present. In the evening, it was the turn of the representatives of the special reunion batches to share their experiences with those at CMC, especially the medical students. The nostalgic trips down the memory lane were enjoyed by a packed audience in the Norman Auditorium.
The general reunion on Saturday, began with the open meeting in the Scudder Auditorium in the forenoon. The presidents of the alumni and students’ associations and the administrative officers of CMC welcomed the visiting alumni. Dr. Katumalla Shoba Naveen of the batch of 1982 was honoured with the College Motto Award for her work in the field of eye care in Madanapalle. This award, initiated last year by the batch of 1949, goes annually to the person from the 25th anniversary class who, in the opinion of the classmates, has best exemplified the motto of the college after graduation. Dr. Sudhir Cecil Joseph of 1971 was presented the Dr. Emmanuel Sunder Raj Award for commitment towards surgical work in mission hospitals. Dr. Prasad Mathews (Med. 3) was unanimously chosen as the new secretary, Dr. Sowmya Sathyendra (Med. 3) as editor, Alumni Journal and Dr. Rohit Amritanand (Ortho. 1 ) as entertainment secretary.
The Thanksgiving Service organized by Dr. Sara Bhattacharji, in the College Chapel, in the evening was both solemn and touching. A sound and light show on the history of Vellore, which was presented immediately afterwards in the Sunken Garden by Dr. Sanjeeth Peter (1982), was greatly appreciated. After dinner, everyone gathered in the Scudder Auditorium for the usual impromptu entertainment. On Sunday the batches of 1977 and 1982 organised a lunch occasion to have more time with local alumni from among their contemporaries in Vellore as also their teachers. And thus the alumni parted reluctantly, armed with tons of photographs and contact details to relive these memorable days.
Other reunions: Because of some confusion regarding the dates of the annual reunion in 2007, some senior classes who had already prepared for a later date went ahead with their own arrangements. Thus the 1957 batch got together on November 22 and 23 and the 1967s on October 11 to 14.
The Annual Reunion 2008 - Vellore will be from August 7 to 9. The batches of 1983, 1978, 1973, 1968, 1963, 1958-59, 1958, 1953,1948 & 1943 are the special invitees, but of course the reunion is for all who can come. For advance information, contact the Association office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni Directory 2008: Frantic preparations are afoot to bring this out in time for the reunion 2008, with the latest information about all of you. We thank all those who have responded to the request for updated information. And we request the others to respond to our continuing efforts to get in touch with you for updates.
The Get-together of the North American Alumni (the GOTC) 2008 will be in Ottawa, Canada from June 19 to 22. Alumni from other countries are warmly invited to join this celebration and fellowship. For more details, please contact one of: George & Leela Varkey (1950) Guddu & Sylvia Sahai (’54) Sudarshan Devanesen (‘62) 519 657 5188 514 620 6572 905 334 2608 & 416 625 2608 email@example.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The Alumni Get-together 2008 – UK: The UK Alumni annual reunion 2008 will be held from 20 to 22 June at the Hilton Hotel, in Coventry. For details, kindly contact Dr. Abraham George, Secretary, Vellore Alumni Association – UK branch e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alumni Get-together 2009 – Australia: The next Australian Alumni get-together will be in Hobart in March 2009 (they meet every alternate year). For details, please contact Dr. Stephen Aseervatham, Secretary, Australian Alumni Association e-mail:email@example.com
The Alumni House is a truly ambitious project initiated by one alumni couple for an attractive hospitality facility for CMC, next to the Big Bungalow, with preference for visiting alumni and alumni functions. At an estimated cost of over rupees two crores, this will accommodate about 50 people in single/double rooms and family suites. Construction is going apace, with the initial donation of Rs.1.3 crores. The shortfall in the funding is an opportunity for other alumni to perpetuate their links with CMC, by giving their names and their funds for a room or some other facility in this house. For details contact the Association Office or firstname.lastname@example.org Inauguration is slated for the 2008 Reunion.
Modale Hostel for International Students is a similar venture funded by the family of Dr. Mani M. Mani (1955). This facility with accommodation for over 20, and with preference for international elective students, was inaugurated last year.
Dr. K. Manonmani (1943): Lifetime Achievement award by the Lions Clubs International and Lions Club of Coimbatore for half-a-century of service in childcare. Dr. K.S. Jacob (1976): Vidyasagar Award of the ICMR for original contributions in Psychiatry. Dr. Premila Abraham, Ph. D. (1999) the Sakuntal Amirchand Award of the ICMR for the best paper in biomedical research. Dr Anna Tharyan (1974) and Dr. Vrisha Madhuri ( 1975) were presented on Independence Day with the “Best Doctor Award” in recognition of their excellent services to the Vellore district in the fields of psychiatric rehabilitation and the upliftment of the physically disabled respectively. Dr. P. Raghupathy, M.D. (1976) represented India at the meeting of the International Diabetes Federation addressing the Global Burden of Youth with Diabetes and to formulate the worldwide guidelines for standards of care. Dr. Zakiah Syeed Ali (1960): The "Key To The City" of Quincy, USA, on her retirement in December 2006 after a lifetime of service in Pathology and General Practice. Dr.Pankaj Shrivastav (1973): the Hind Rattan Award for outstanding services, achievements and contributions at the 26th International Congress, of Non-Resident Indians. Dr. Vikas Khanduja (1991): the "British Hip Society and Endoplus Travelling Fellowship Award" (2006) and also the "Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Travelling Fellowship " (2007). Dr. Sudarshan Devanesen (1962) was appointed as a Member of the Order Of Canada. (This Award is equivalent to the Padma Bhushan in India). India’s first Gurukul Jyoti Award 2006 was conferred on the Christian Medical College, Vellore for Excellence in health care in all-Asia by Justice R.C. Lohoti, Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, at a ceremony held at New Delhi on Feb.25, 2007. Ajit Varki (1968), M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Founder and Co-Director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, is to receive the International Glycoconjugate Organization (IGO) Award for 2007. The award is given every two years to "glycoscientists who have clearly advanced the field of glycoscience and show promise of continuing advancements". Varki has been a pioneer in the field of glycobiology and is the chief editor of the major textbook in the field, The Essentials of Glycobiology. He had already received in 2005 the Karl Meyer Award of the Society for Glycobiology, the other major honor in this field. Dayalan Devanesen (1963) received the High Achiever Award of the Australian Alumni Association which is an umbrella organisation representing 38 Australian Universities. This recognised his outstanding work for Aboriginal people in remote Australia and establishing the Aboriginal Health Worker Programme and Bicultural Primary Health Care services. Dayalan is the first Indian to be appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997. He also received the Meritorious Service Award from the Indo Australian Association in 1997. Ashok Venkitaraman (1977), the Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Cambridge and Joint Director of the Medical Research Council’s Cancer Cell Unit, received this year’s medical research award from the Ranbaxy Foundation. He and his colleagues had been researching why cancer was more frequent in some families; and, in particular, why women who inherited a faulty copy of a gene known as BRCA2 had a high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. They demonstrated that the BRCA2 gene worked as a guardian of the information encoded in the human genome by repairing damage in the genetic material, DNA. They also determined the steps that led to cancer in women who inherited the faulty gene. The INDIA TODAY - AC Nielsen Survey of Academic Excellence has given CMC, Vellore the FACTUAL rank as Number ONE amongst Medical Colleges in the country. BINAYAK SEN (1966): is now in the 10th month of imprisonment in Raipur Central Jail. The best account so far on this sad episode can be read at http://www.tehelka.com/story_main37.asp? filename=Ne230208The_Doctor.asp His trial on allegations of collusion in Naxalite violence is due to begin in Raipur on April 30th. So unless another bail application can be moved successfully meanwhile, he will complete a year in jail on May 14th, certainly a unique record for a CMC alumnus. The Indian Academy of Social Sciences conferred on him the R. R. Keithan Gold Medal, recognizing “the resonance between the works of Dr. Sen in all its aspects with the values promoted by Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation”. Amnesty International is promoting a letter writing campaign on his behalf. You can join this at http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=398
We regret to report the passing away of the following alumni/former faculty: Dr. Zokhaw Muana (1957) on Dec.1, 2003 , Dr. Susan Verghese (1948) on Jan.4, 2007 , Dr. Sojibai Samson (1946) on Jan. 11, 2007, Dr. Vimala Seshumurty (nee Choweller) (1955) on Feb.9, 2007, Dr. Joan Moses Dass (nee Israel) (1957) on March 2, 2007, Dr. Jacob Chandy, pioneering Neuro Surgeon and former Principal, on June 23, 2007 . Dr. Anita Amaranath (nee Singh) (1957) on March 14, 2008, Dr. Prema Bhat (nee Prabhu) (1945) on March 19, 2008.
Retirements from CMC Faculty:
Dr. David Sadhu (1967), Surgery in May 2007, Dr. Faith Rangad (1966), Radiotherapy in May 2007, Mrs. Vijaya (Viji) Venkatesan, Principal’s Office in Aug. 2007 .
NEW ADMINSTRATIVE OFFICERS: Dr. Lionel Gnanaraj (1971), Professor of Urology became Medical Superintendent in July 2007. Dr. Suranjan Bhattacharji (1970), Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation took over as Director and Dr. Anand Job (1972), Professor of ENT as Principal in September 2007.
The alumni share the gratitude of the CMC family to the out-going Director, Dr. George Chandy (1967), who ably led the institution through the last five years. His empathy with people in need, his commitment to core values and his compassionate outlook and total involvement has left an indelible mark on CMC. A man of action and an eloquent speaker, he was an able and effective communicator on behalf of CMC.
THE NEW PRIVATE PATIENTS’ BLOCK (provisionally referred to as the A block) : A centrally air conditioned private ward block, located between the PMR Department and the ASHA building (at the original site of the LIQ) was dedicated in January 2008. The nine storey A Block has 65 single, 78 double and 16 deluxe rooms. The top two floors are set apart for Haematology, complete with bone marrow transplantation rooms, hepa filter beds, a day care chemotherapy centre with six beds and a play room. On the ground floor is a spacious reception and waiting area with an attached cafeteria. This block has its own ICU, pharmacy, ultra sound and ECG and EEG facilities. Please let us have your feed back, especially on what you would like to know about CMC and alumni through these periodical newsletters.
Your Alumni Secretary,