On April 25, 2009, the MCV Alumni Association of VCU paid tribute to two esteemed members at the organization’s annual luncheon at the Omni Richmond Hotel in downtown Richmond, Va. The award ceremony was part of numerous festivities celebrating Virginia Commonwealth University’s Reunion 2009.
Harry D. Bear, M.D., (M.D. ’75/M; Ph.D. ’78/M) chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the VCU School of Medicine since 1993, received the MCVAA Outstanding Alumnus Award. Presented since 1975, the award honors a graduate of the MCV Campus who is nationally recognized and acknowledged by leaders in their chosen profession as having made distinguished contributions to health care.
“It was a real honor to be recognized by other people who have graduated from VCU,” said Bear of receiving the award.
Bear, a VCU School of Medicine faculty member since 1984, also serves as the medical director of the Breast Health Center at the VCU Massey Cancer Center. Recently, he was selected to the National Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Fellow alumnus, George W. Burke III, M.D. (M.D. ’70/M), earned the Hodges-Kay Service Award, given to a graduate of the MCV Campus in recognition of service to the alumni association and participation in the activities of the association, the graduate’s school and/or the university. Created in 1991, the award is named in appreciation of the dedicated service of longtime volunteers Frances Kay (B.S.N. ’57/N) and the late Edward Hodges Jr. (D.D.S. ’56/D).
“The two people for whom the award is named were instrumental in devoting a lot of time and energy to make the alumni association the meaningful entity it is today,” Burke said. “I’m deeply honored to be considered in the same category with them.”
Burke works in private practice with Pulmonary Associates of Richmond Inc. He served as immediate past president of the MCV Alumni Association of VCU and as former president of the Richmond Academy of Medicine. In addition, Burke sat on the search committees that hired VCU School of Medicine dean Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., and new VCU president Michael Rao, Ph.D.
More than 1,000 alumni, guests, students and faculty members celebrated VCU’s Reunion 2009 on the MCV Campus, at the Omni Richmond Hotel and other locations throughout the city on April 24-27, 2009. Robert Clifton, Ed.D., dean emeritus for student affairs for the MCV Campus, led historical tours of the campus to show returning alumni newly added campus gardens. Additional alumni awards also were presented at school-based activities during the weekend.