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Facts from the Past for Classes 1955, 1956, 1960, 1961 and 1965

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Class of 1955

Timeline of Events
1951 – The class of 1955 enters Albany Medical College.
1953 – Television sets with “pillow-speakers” are installed in Albany Hospital rooms for the first time.
1954 – A pamphlet is distributed by the Albany Hospital, explaining the concept of a medical center, emphasizing the connection between the Hospital and Medical College. 
1955 – The 125th Commencement exercises take place. Fifty-one students graduate with medical degrees. The Commencement Address, “The Future of the Health Professions – Excellence or Mediocrity,”  is given by Dr. Joseph C. Hinsey, Ph.D., Director of the New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center.


Class of 1956

(1956 Commencement Ceremonies at the Albany Law School)

NEWS HIGHLIGHT - from The Times Union June 2, 1956

"48 Get Medical College Degrees"

"A father and son team shared the platform at the 126th commencement of Albany Medical College yesterday morning as Dr. Carl J. Wiggers of Cleveland gave the principle address and his son, Dr. Harold C. Wiggers, college dean, presented the 48 candidates for medical degrees."

"One pair of high heels clicked across the stage as Miss Catherine J. Peffer of Greenfield, MA received her academic hood and diploma."

"It is your obligation," Dr. Wiggers told the class, "to inform yourselves regarding the rules of ethical human experimentation and to abide by them at all times."


Class of 1960

Timeline of Events

1956 – The class of 1960 enters Albany Medical College.
1957 – The first open heart surgery is performed at Albany Medical Center Hospital. 
1960 – The growth of departments and divisions in the College continues with the addition of the Division of Renal Diseases, under the Department of Medicine.
1960 – Herman E. Hilleboe, M.D., New York State Commissioner of Health, addresses the 130th Commencement Exercises at Albany Medical College.  The graduating class consists of 54 MD graduates, 1 Ph.D. graduate, and 1 Master of Science graduate.


Class of 1961

1961 at a glance: 
A large increase in the department of pathology at Albany Medical College in the years leading to 1961 led to the establishment of a new pathology laboratory in a nearby offsite location where the following research projects were conducted: “A comparative study of heart disease, an investigation of the mechanisms of fever, and chemical analysis of blood proteins related to pregnancy.”
57 students graduate with medical degrees from Albany Medical College. 
Victor L. Butterfield, Ph.D., L.H.D., LL.D., Litt.D., President of Wesleyan University delivered the commencement address for the 1961 Albany Medical College graduation ceremonies. 
The Peace Corps is established by President John F. Kennedy.
Construction of the Berlin Wall begins.
The Apollo Program takes off after President Kennedy announces his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.  
Class of 1965
Did you know….?
- 59 students graduated from the class of 1965 with medical degrees, 5 with PhD’s, and 2 with MS degrees
- The following is a sample of courses the Class of 1965 were required to take while in medical school: Pathology, Pediatrics, Behavioral Science, Surgery, Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pharmacology, Anatomy
- The commencement speaker, Dr. Carter Davidson, president of the Association of American Colleges, told the graduates “they lived in a golden age of a sunburst of human creativity.”
- Commencement exercises were held at the Hellman Theater (1960-1989), on Washington Avenue in Albany across from the University at Albany-SUNY.  The Hellman Theater opened in 1960 and was a project of the philanthropist Neil Hellman whom the Medical Science Building at Albany Medical College is named for. 


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