Not Your Usual Graduation - St. George's University Students Gather at Lincoln Center, 2100 Miles from Campus

Apr 29, 2002, 01:00 ET from St. George's University

    GRENADA, West Indies, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- For Chancellor Charles
 Modica of St. George's University, the graduation taking place at Avery Fisher
 Hall in Lincoln Center, 2,100 miles away from the school, is a high point in a
 year-long 25th anniversary celebration. He founded the school in Grenada, West
 Indies to assure that a medical school education was available to achievers
 who dreamed of becoming doctors but were shut out of US medical schools. (See
     "I had enrolled in medical school in Spain myself and left only when I
 discovered I wasn't meant to be a doctor after all -- I fainted in anatomy
 lab," explains Chancellor Modica. But Modica had become an expert on foreign
 medical schools, writing a book that went into several printings and touring
 US colleges to speak.
     Being entrepreneurial and ambitious, he decided to start a medical school
 in close proximity to the US where courses would be taught in English. He
 approached the Grenadian government and they accepted the idea. The School of
 Medicine gathered faculty from around the world and enrolled a charter class.
     In 1977 the school was a collection of eager students and simple
 buildings, later to be poked fun at by Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau. Many
 Americans heard of the school when medical students at St. George's University
 were airlifted out of Grenada during the US military intervention in 1983.
     "St. George's University's academic accomplishments are quantifiable, and
 our school boasts successful alumni practicing throughout the world," Modica
 says. Licensing exam scores have steadily increased. In 2000, first-time US
 test takers of the United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step 1, had a 94%
 pass rate, which was better than US medical schools' pass rate of 93%.
     Over 4,000 physicians have graduated from the University. Scholarships to
 Caribbean students have been a long tradition of St. George's University, and
 over 100 Caribbeans are doctors because of them.
     The physical plant of the school astonished the alumni who came back to
 Grenada for an anniversary celebration in January 2002. Some of them had not
 seen the campus in over twenty years. Fifty-two buildings are spread out over
 the new True Blue campus, including a state of the art library, anatomy labs,
 dormitories, a student center, lecture halls, a research institute and the new
 School of Veterinary Medicine buildings.
     This year, proud parents are expected to arrive from 18 countries to watch
 their sons and daughters receive their MD degrees from St. George's in a
 ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center on June 18, 2002 at 4pm.
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SOURCE St. George's University