Update: The IvaDean Medical Student Scholarship Concert has been rescheduled from its Dec. 2013 date to Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.
This January, UC College of Medicine students will take the stage to celebrate a decade-old scholarship, named after a UC administrator who has served as guardian, mentor—and mom—to medical students throughout a half century of the College’s history.
The 10th Annual IvaDean Medical Student Scholarship Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 in Kresge Auditorium, after a silent auction starting at 5:30.
Over $1.8 million has been raised for the fund, named for assistant dean and medical registrar IvaDean Lair-Adolph, a constant presence at the college with more than 50 years in the Dean’s Office.
Offering candy, cookies and plenty of comfort and advice from her office, she has a devoted following of students and alumni across generations.
"The IvaDean concert is the biggest scholarship fund-raising event of the year in the College of Medicine,” says Daniel Burr, PhD, assistant dean for student financial planning. "There is a lot of excitement around the auction and the performances.
"The concert brings in a lot of small donations. When you do that year after year for ten years, it is amazing how the fund grows. No other fund gets this kind of consistent, grass roots support.”
Fourth-year student Tony Divito is directing this year's event, after performing and helping behind-the-scenes ever since his first year. He says the concert is an opportunity for faculty and students to show off their often-hidden artistic talents, as well as contribute to their community.
"In the first year, I think students are looking for an outlet for something they love," he says, "but as it goes along, people tend to get more involved the more they've seen the impact of IvaDean in their everyday life here. You end up wanting to give back."
The scholarship fund was seeded in 2003 with the senior gift from the fourth-year class. Class co-chair William Knight, MD—now UC assistant professor of emergency medicine and neurocriticalcare—said the idea to start a scholarship came from executive director of development and alumni affairs Mike Zenz.
Knight says it’s been gratifying to watch their initial donation grow into something much larger to support students. Since its creation, the fund has awarded $447,500 to 82 students based solely on financial need.
"What I think a lot of alumni remember about IvaDean is someone who was always accessible, friendly and cared immensely about the students,” he says. "There’s probably no greater staunch advocate for students in the College of Medicine than IvaDean.”
Candy and cookies aside, Knight says IvaDean’s greatest contribution to her "kids” was in her constant presence and guaranteed support.
"If you needed something, she would make it happen—anything from a key to an ID badge to access to professors … all the things that make your life work well when you’re already in a tough training program. As a student, you know that if all else fails, she’s going to have the answer or she’s going to get the answer. To me, that’s where her greatest strength lies.”
IvaDean is still filling that role for students today. For students Arya Zandvakili and Rahul D’Mello, both involved in planning the 2013 concert, the event is a way to give back to their "Med School Mom.”
"She lends an ear and encouraging words when things get tough, and she’s always in her office to keep us going throughout the day,” says Zandvakili. "The concert is a way for us ‘kids’ to show our appreciation for all that IvaDean does for us.”
Zandavakili and Dmello credit the many students involved, from stage crews and performers to fundraisers, for their work in support of the event and the IvaDean scholarship.
"The IvaDean scholarship helps relieve this financial burden and makes medical education more accessible for students who are financially disadvantaged. Furthermore, the intention is that with less debt, students will be more willing to pursue medical fields that are less well-paid, but nonetheless very important, like primary care,” says Zandavakili.
After watching class after class perform and graduate, even IvaDean herself remains excited to watch her next generation of kids perform for a good cause.
"As the medical school Mom, I am very proud of each and every performer,” she says. "It is really gratifying to see my graduates come back to perform. And, I am hoping the word spreads and I have even more current students and graduates come back each year. I would love to see the Kresge filled to capacity!”
All event proceeds will directly support the scholarship fund. Tickets for the concert are $5 for students and children and $15 for adults, and can be purchased at the door (cash or check).
For more information, call 513-558-5577.