welcomes newest class of medical
New students hold best
GPAs in college history
One hundred and twenty
aspiring physicians and surgeons will be
officially welcomed and given short
white coats during the Ohio University
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)
Convocation ceremony Aug. 14, 2 p.m., at
Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial
Selected from 3,690
applicants, the students in the Class of
began orientation and anatomy classes
last month at OU-HCOM.
This year marks the 35th
year for this ceremony, where students
will be welcomed into the medical
profession by leaders in the osteopathic
medical community, the college and Ohio
University, and where they receive a
short, white coat, which identifies them
as medical students. They are required
to wear the coat when they are
accompanying physicians in a clinical
The Class of 2014, which
tied with last year’s class for the
college’s largest class ever, set its
own record with the highest grade point
averages in OU-HCOM history, said John Schriner, Ph.D., director of admissions.
The combined GPA of the class is 3.67,
with a combined 3.73 GPA in non-science
classes and a 3.61 GPA in science, he
More than 27 percent of
the class members are the first in their
family to attend college, and 15 percent
hail from Appalachian counties in Ohio.
A total of 84 percent are from Ohio,
Schriner said. Minority students make up
26 percent of the class, and 58 percent
are women, he added.
“The Class of 2014 is
truly an outstanding group of students.
There are many great attributes of the
class,” Schriner said. “Most important
is the fact that they are a great bunch
of people that have a passion for
learning and the aspiration to serve
Another highlight of the
event is the presentation of the
Phillips Medals of Public Service, the
college’s highest honor given to
individuals who have made outstanding
contributions to health care, education
and/or public service.
This year’s three
recipients all have significant ties to
Delivering the keynote
address, besides receiving a Phillips
Medal of Public Service, is John
Kopchick, Ph.D., Goll-Ohio Eminent
Scholar and OU-COM professor of
molecular and cellular biology.
In 1989, Kopchick and his
research team were the first to discover
and characterize the molecular aspects
of growth hormone antagonists, an
accomplishment for which he and Ohio
University were awarded several U.S. and
The discovery became the
basis for the drug Somavert®,
a treatment for people with acromegaly,
a growth hormone disorder that can cause
excessive growth of organs and bones in
adults and can lead to premature death.
Royalty income from a license to the
Pfizer Corporation to produce the drug
makes up most of the licensing revenue
received by Ohio University -- $5.8
million in fiscal year 2008.
The second recipient is
David R. Scholl, Ph.D., who received his
doctorate from Ohio University in 1981.
As a graduate student, he played a key
laboratory support role in the
development of the landmark
bio-engineering project that produced
the world’s first transgenic animal
using the technique known as pronuclear
In 1983, Scholl joined
Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., of Athens, as
director of research.
Originally a start-up
company based on Ohio University faculty
research, Diagnostic Hybrids now is a
market leader in the development and
distribution of cellular and molecular
diagnostic kits for detecting a wide
range of medical conditions. The company
employs about 220 people in Athens.
In 1995, Scholl became
president and CEO.
The final Phillips Medal
will be awarded to John Haseley, J.D.,
who grew up in Athens and graduated from
Ohio University with honors in political
science. His career includes working for
former Governor Richard F. Celeste and
Senator John Glenn and as a law clerk
for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Guy Cole
in Columbus. From 1998 to 2005, he
served as Congressman Ted Strickland’s
chief of staff. Until recently, Haseley
served in the same role when Strickland
became governor four years ago.