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Convocations to be this weekend

Dr. Tom Irons
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 4, 2009)   —   Sixty-five medical students will receive their degrees at the annual convocation of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University Saturday, May 9.
The convocation begins at 8 a.m. in Wright Auditorium on the ECU campus. Dr. Tom Irons, professor of pediatrics, director of ECU's Generalist Physician Program and associate vice chancellor for regional health services, will be the speaker. Medical students Ryan Murray and Clint McNabb will also speak.

Among the graduates will be two who each spent three months during the past year working at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Labarene, Gabon, Africa. Nicholas Glomb and Marie Rowe worked as Lambarene Fellows, a prestigious national program.

A Greenville native, Irons is a graduate of Davidson College and the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric internship at the University of California-San Francisco and residency at N.C. Memorial Hospital. From 1975 to 1978, he served in the U.S. Army in West Germany and practiced pediatrics in Raleigh from 1978 to 1981. Irons joined the medical faculty at ECU in 1981. In 1999, he founded HealthAssist, a health improvement and health care program for low-income and uninsured residents of eastern North Carolina. He spearheaded the construction of the James D. Bernstein Community Health Center and now serves as its medical director.

Also in the ECU Division of Health Sciences, the College of Allied Health Sciences will hold its convocation at 11 a.m. Saturday in Minges Coliseum. Guest speaker is Alisa Debnam, executive director of the Council for Allied Health in North Carolina. Jordan Duke, a master's graduate from the Department of Rehabilitation Studies, will deliver the farewell address to students. The college will graduate 214 students. Of those, 123 will receive bachelor's degrees, 58 will receive master's degrees, 30 will receive doctorates in physical therapy and three will receive audiology doctoral degrees.

"Over the past couple of years getting to know my classmates has been an awesome experience, and to watch each of them grow as counselors has been even more remarkable. I feel as though this graduating class is really going to prove themselves and make a difference in the counseling field," Duke said.

The College of Nursing convocation will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in Wright Auditorium. Speakers will be Malinda Elizabeth Langley, doctoral graduate; Lydia Apollo, the outstanding nurse midwifery concentration master's graduate; and Meagan Wallace, president of the class of 2009. The college will graduate 191 students: 149 bachelor's students, 39 master's students, two students will receive post-master's certificates, and Langley will receive her doctorate.

Wallace said her class was the largest ever accepted to nursing school. "During our career as nursing students at ECU, we have made a large impact in the organizations which we have worked, by providing a positive attitude, new ideas, and providing excellent care to our patients. We provided service and made a difference in the lives of our patients," Wallace said. "My fellow classmates and I are looking forward to excelling as nurses and making ECU proud."

Commencement exercises for all ECU graduates will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

More information about this weekend's graduation activities is available online at


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482