Meharry Students carried a message of gratitude at the 17th annual Circle of Friends gala

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Meharry Student Ambassadors at last Thursday's Circle of Friends gala.

This year, Meharry's 17th Annual Circle of Friends gala, held Thursday, April 18, was a celebration of students and those whose generosity helps provide scholarships, financial aid, and facilities for aspiring doctors, dentists, and researchers.

The theme for this year's gala was "Growing for a Healthy Future," and Meharry students served as emcees for the event. "After all, they're the reason we're all here," said Linda Witt, Meharry senior associate vice president for development, describing Meharry students as "the best and the brightest."

All night, Student Ambassadors and student speakers circulated through the attendees—numbering over 300—expressing gratitude for the generosity of Meharry's supporters. "Each of us are probably direct beneficiaries of support through scholarships," Douglas Robinson, a seventh year M.D./Ph.D. student told the crowd. "Approximately 95 percent of all students at Meharry Medical College receive some form of financial assistance, whether through loans or scholarships," he said.

Christopher Watson, the newly elected Pre-Alumni Association president, said the gifts of Circle of Friends members help Meharry students to move "closer to achieving our dreams and to changing humanity for the better while spreading Meharry's mission."

Robinson said he is "mindful that every gift gives students the chance to dream and the chance to one day reach the goal of fulfilling our mission of meeting the health care needs of the underserved and under represented."