First Graduating Class of UMMS
In 1970 the Medical School opened its doors to its first class,
the Class of 1974, which was composed of 16 male students.
Dr. Soutter had handpicked these students from hundreds of
applicants and maintained a close watch on their progress. As
a token of their regard, the sixteen had a pair
of suspenders made for their esteemed leader. (Dr. Soutter was
well-known for wearing suspenders with his suits.) He was amazed
and quite pleased with this gift, as they were not ordinary suspenders -
they sported pen and ink drawings of the likenesses of the students
going up one side and down the other (pictured at left).
At Graduation, the class speaker, Donald Abbott, M.D., recounted his experiences over the last four years. In his speech he mentioned the innovations in the teaching methods instituted at the new Medical School and how they affected the students' medical education in a positive manner. He also mentioned how the learning experience reinforced their individualism and bolstered independent thinking - there were no upperclassmen with whom to share ideas. In closing Dr. Abbott thanked all who had assisted in their education; the volunteer faculty, members of the staff, and especially, Dr. Soutter.
Source used for this page:
- Donald Abbott, M.D. "Graduation Speech." Worcester Medical News, July-August 1974, 4-5.