A Convocation in honor of the entering classes has been held at
the beginning of each academic year since 1985. The dual theme
of convocation is the importance of viewing medicine and
dentistry as vocations of service to others, and the need for
physicians and dentists to maintain their interest and activity
beyond the health care sciences to assure a sense of balance and
perspective in their personal and professional lives.
The convocation is named in honor of Joseph M.
Healey, Jr., J.D., Professor of Health Law and Ethics. Professor
Healey was a major contributor to many of the University’s most
cherished traditions, chief among them was his role in creating
and chairing the annual Convocation ceremony. His untimely death
in 1993 represented the loss of a significant spiritual leader
at UConn. Professor Healey's positive influence on the ethical
and professional conduct of countless students and colleagues
has been immeasurable.
The Convocation planning is coordinated through the Student
Services Center and involves input from the Associate Deans for
Students Affairs from both the medical and dental schools and
the second year students who are acting as orientation
coordinators. The immediate past and current presidents of
Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) are given the
responsibility of serving as master of ceremonies and providing
the student address. All second year medical and dental students
are offered the opportunity to choose and perform the
a. Welcome from the Master of Ceremonies. The immediate
past president of the Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG)
serves as the master of ceremonies.
b. Artistic Interludes. In keeping with a
classical approach to the ceremony, an integral component of
convocation is performances by students. The artists are always
students, predominantly from the second-year classes. The
interludes have consisted of readings of original poetry,
instrumental and vocal music, and dance. The artistry
demonstrated by the students reinforces the theme of balance
between personal and professional roles.
c. Welcome from the Administration. The
Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the School of
Dental Medicine welcome the students on behalf of the
administration and share views of the convocation themes. The
deans’ presence during the proceedings adds to the solemnity and
importance of the ceremony.
d. Welcome from the Faculty. Alternating
by year between the medical and dental schools the address is
given by the most recent Kaiser Permanente Teaching Award
winner, an award given each May for excellence in teaching in
the clinical sciences. Selecting a faculty award winner
reinforces the message that "teaching-as-service" is a critical
professional obligation which should be acknowledged.
e. Student Address. The current president
of Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) gives an address
focusing on balancing professional school with other essential
roles – as a son/daughter, spouse/partner, etc.
f. Keynote Speaker. The tradition is to
ask a graduate of the medical or dental school to be the
featured speaker. The themes are once again balance and service.