Office of Institutional Advancement
From Our Executive VP

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Jeffersonians, Tried & True

05/13/16

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In his profile, new SKMC Alumni Association President Matt Keller, MD ’05, notes insightfully that Jefferson graduates view themselves as more than just people who went to Jefferson; they identify as “Jeffersonians,” inside and out. This way of branding oneself begins the day a new student participates in the White Coat Ceremony—but what does it mean to be a Jeffersonian once you move that tassel at commencement?

Like much of your student experience on campus, your experience as an alumnus is up to you. Becoming involved in Jefferson alumni life is just as rewarding as participating in student activities was for you however many years ago. There are countless ways to stay connected—by attending Alumni Weekend and other special events, by mentoring aspiring physicians, by investing in programs and initiatives that are meaningful to you.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many steadfast Jeffersonians. One recent encounter that stands out was with Harvey Oshrin, MD ’60. Dr. Oshrin and I met for dinner near his home in Vista, California, and he told me about his time at Jefferson and his fascinating career in clinical psychiatry, which has involved evaluating criminal defendants in superior court and recommending psychiatric treatment for prison inmates (at age 81, he continues to work within the legal system today).

Beyond his intriguing practice, something about Dr. Oshrin struck me—his commitment both to Jefferson and to philanthropy. As a young resident in California, Dr. Oshrin met fellow Jeffersonian Jack McMullin, MD ’34, who became his mentor. Dr. McMullin spoke often of the outstanding learning experience Jefferson provided. “He encouraged me to give a gift, of any amount, every year to help ensure that future generations would benefit from same the distinctive education he and I received. It’s been roughly 60 years since I made my first donation, and I’ve been giving consecutively ever since,” recalled Dr. Oshrin, who ultimately enhanced his giving by making Jefferson the beneficiary of his IRA—a planned gift that will provide scholarship support specifically for  students from California who attend SKMC.

Dr. Oshrin’s varied investments in Jefferson over nearly six decades have made an impact in the past, are making an impact in the present and will make an impact well into the future. He gives because he finds himself “wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t go to Jefferson, and I draw a complete blank. Having gone to Jefferson and being a physician—this is my life.”

What makes you a Jeffersonian? I welcome you to share your stories—why you give, and what programs and activities inspire you the most. Please tell us how you remain connected to the university by emailing alumni@jefferson.edu. Maybe one day your story will be featured in the Bulletin!

Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD
Executive Vice President