Alumni Pins

Beginnings of the Alumni Pin Tradition

In the spring of 2012, the Class of 1962 established a new reunion tradition by welcoming the graduating class of medical students into the profession with a Washington University School of Medicine alumni pin.

The idea behind the new pin and tradition was sparked by conversations between alumni and Washington University physicians who have alumni pins from other medical schools. Alumni often wear the pins on their white coats, a subtle way to display school pride.

The pins also present an opportunity for new graduates to learn more about the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association, while also bridging the 50-year gap that separates members of the Golden Anniversary and graduating classes. Advancements in medical training, treatments, and technology can make the experiences of both groups of physicians very different, but the common bond of Washington University represented in the alumni pin unites them.

The Class of 1962 introduced a new Reunion tradition in 2012 by giving alumni pins to the graduating class.

At the 2012 Reunion, 50th Class Speaker William H. Gondring III, M.D. introduced the tradition and announced that he and his fellow classmates would present each of the graduates with a pin as a token of congratulations. The 2012 graduates surrounded the Class of 1962 and a hush fell over the ballroom. Heartfelt comments and genuine gratitude were expressed by the young physicians to the senior alumni. It was an intimate moment between 50 or so individuals, but its impact was palpable throughout the entire ballroom.

“I remember admiring the Class of 1962 and especially noting their sense of humor and ease of interaction with all of us,” reflected new graduate, Dr. Tara Jackson. “They were encouraging about our future prospects and careers. I enjoyed the support and connection we all felt to the alumni. It was inspirational! They were once in our shoes and it means the world to see where they are now.”

Tara continued, “Seeing how they kept in touch with their class at Washington University and maintained the informal, friendly relationship they had as students 50 years ago was also priceless, and very encouraging during this emotional time in our lives.”

The pinning ceremony joins the list of other long-held traditions such as the White Coat Ceremony and the Match Day festivities at Washington University School of Medicine. Alumni pins will be made available to all new alumni during Reunion Weekend.