KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The nation's newest medical school, the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, welcomed its inaugural class of 54 students Aug. 18 as it readies its new medical campus for a public grand opening in September.
Members of the first class were selected from among more than 3,500 applicants from across the nation. The class, which is 56 percent male and 44 percent female, includes students from 14 states. They earned their undergraduate degrees at 35 colleges and universities ranging from Big Ten schools like the universities of Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota to liberal arts colleges, like Albion, Calvin and Hillsdale.
The incoming class includes 23 students, or 43 percent of the class total, who are from Michigan; 15 students from California; and four who hail from Illinois. Three members of the entering class are WMU graduates and two earned degrees at Kalamazoo College. Both of those schools enjoy a preferred relationship status with the medical school. Additionally, one member of the first class is a Kalamazoo Promise-eligible student.
At 54, the Class of 2018 is slightly larger than the goal of 50 students originally announced. The school expects to admit 60 students next year and grow in each succeeding year until it reaches an eventual class size of 84 students per class.
A white-coat ceremony for this year's students is slated for mid-September, just before the WMU Stryker Medical School's Sept. 18 grand opening. That event will be held at the medical school's W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus in downtown Kalamazoo, a seven-story former research facility that has just been renovated as the home for the medical school.
About the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Named for the Kalamazoo orthopedic surgeon and medical device innovator who founded Stryker Corp., the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine is a collaboration involving WMU and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. In planning since 2008, the new medical school was granted preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in October 2012. The school is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supported by private gifts, clinical revenue, research activity, tuition from students and endowment income. In addition to its new W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus, the school includes the WMU School of Medicine Clinics on Oakland Drive, immediately adjacent to the University's main campus.