History of Puerto Rico Alpha
On March 7, 1956, the Alpha chapter of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine was installed at the Swiss Chalet in San Juan. This was the first chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha to be established outside of the United States and Canada. Dr. E. Harold Hinman, Dean of the School of Medicine, presided the event. In his opening remarks, he recognized the distinction and honor extended to the University of Puerto Rico and the School of Medicine in granting a charter for a chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and expressed his appreciation to the Faculty of Medicine for this achievement. Dr. Hinman noted that the development of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine from the School of Tropical Medicine in 1949 showed that, remote to others larger medical centers in the mainland; history was being made in medical education in our island.
Chancellor Jaime Benítez accepted the Charter on behalf of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He expressed confidence that the ideals and precepts of the Society would be maintained, and pride in the remarkable development of the medical center within the cultural environment of the University, which would contribute to the advancement of medical service in Puerto Rico by training competent physicians and actively supporting medical research with emphasis on preventive medicine. Chancellor Benítez stated that the influence of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, promoting scholarship, leadership and service, would further stimulate the spirit of medical service and the promotion of human welfare.
Dr Josiah J. Moore, Secretary of Alpha Omega Alpha, presented the certificates of membership and keys to our first initiates, who were the following:
Faculty Initiates -Guillermo Arbona, Professor, Preventive Medicine and Public Health; Manuel Fernández Fuster, Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology; E. Harold Hinman, Dean, Professor of Micro-biology; José Noya Benítez, Professor of Surgery; and Antonio Ortiz, Professor of Pediatrics Class of 1955 - Carlos Manuel de Castro, Nydia Rosa de Jesús González, Efraín García González, Pedro H. García Pont, Amalia Martínez Pico, Carmen Inés Rivera Estrada, and Alfonso Zerbi Ortiz Class of 1956 - Frankie Alvarado Norat, Raúl Bacó Dapena, Ada T. Capó de Choudens, Tobias Lawrence Fleisher, Carlos G. Hurtado, Roberto Rivera Vigoreaux and Pura Norma Suárez de Roldán; Class of 1957 - Pablo G. Curbelo, Olga Iguina Hernández, and José R. Landrón.
Dr. John B. Grant, from the Faculty of Medicine, closed the activity with a presentation entitled "Trends in Medical Education and Opportunity of the University of Puerto Rico".
The installation of the 73rd chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha at the University of Puerto Rico was a memorable occasion.Contact: Victor Villegas
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