Centennial Details Are Rolled Out

SMC Celebrates Centennial Honoring the past and celebrating the future is the focus of the 2009 Centennial celebration at Samuel Merritt College (SMC).

More than a dozen Centennial volunteer committee members have researched and gathered information to put together programs, banquettes, line up guest speakers and order banners, everyone is ready to celebrate 100 years of College history.

"History is the essential foundation of knowledge," says Carla Ross, Director of Alumni Affairs. "It provides the context and the tools to understand ourselves and our contemporary world."

The historical committee, chaired by Ms. Ross, has set up display units at each of the three remote Learning Centers and two on the Oakland campus. One of the units is located across from the library at the Health Education Center (HEC) and the other is located inside the living room on the second floor of the Peralta Building.

The display units include historical artifacts from nursing gowns, sterile needles administered from the 30s to student and staff manuscript materials relating principally to rural life in Oakland. As SMC expanded from nursing, so has its collection to include disciplines from physical and occupational therapy, podiatric medicine, and physician assistant.

"We recognize the importance of such a collection to research and teaching," said Ross. "Many of these programs are less than 20 years old to the College and even though they have not built on the 99-year history as the nursing program has, the discipline alone is not new in the healthcare field. We welcome any items that project that."

More than 12,000 Save-the-Date cards have been sent out to the SMC Community and friends of the College, detailing dates and times of each Centennial event.

SMC Alums

The first Centennial event will be Founder's Day on January 26, 2009. Along with VIP guest speakers, the College will receive proclamations from the City of Oakland and the State of California.

The second event will be the Birthday Celebration, on March 30. SMC will celebrate and honor Dr. Samuel Merritt who was a successful San Francisco physician and also the 13th mayor of Oakland from 1867-69. He left plans for a hospital and nursing school to be built in his name after his death. Dr. Merritt's dream was realized in 1909 when Samuel Merritt College and Merritt Hospital opened. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

On April 23rd the College and co-sponsors the Oakland Metro Chamber of Commerce, will host a Social Mixer to introduce the College to Oakland business leaders to the campus.

The final celebration will be the Centennial Gala. The fundraising event is scheduled for October 10, held at the Oakland Claremont Country Club.

Consult the Centennial webpage for updates as added information becomes available for each event. The webpage will also have a tab encouraging alums to share their SMC story. The SMC Centennial celebration will last throughout the 2009 academic year, and includes special observations on the rich history of Samuel Merritt College.

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