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Medical College of Wisconsin Celebrates 224 Members of Class of 2019 at Milwaukee Campus

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Milwaukee campus hosted its commencement ceremony at the Miller High Life Theatre on Friday, May 17. Two hundred and twenty-four students from the MCW Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Medicine received degrees.

MCW recognized Virginia K. Bolger, Robert David Curry, Bruce (BJ) Miller, MD and Stephan A. Roell and Dr. Shelagh M. Roell with honorary degrees.

As “first lady” of the Medical College of Wisconsin for 20 years, Bolger was an active contributor to enhancing the institution’s missions and legacy. During the two decades that her late husband, T. Michael Bolger, JD, served as President and Chief Executive Officer of
MCW (1990-2010), Mrs. Bolger was an ambassador for the institution, traveling around the country for alumni dinners, the annual clinical conference and myriad fundraising events.

As a Vietnam veteran, Milwaukee native Curry saw the opportunity to help out a new generation of soldiers when the Afghanistan War and War in Iraq began. In 2008, he founded Dryhootch of America, a nonprofit organization with the goal to give veterans a safe, alcohol-free, drug-free environment to deal with the posttraumatic stress disorder they might be feeling after returning
home. The idea revolved around the creation of a retail coffee shop run by and for veterans, which also would support an extended network of veterans’ families and encourage veteran interaction with the community as a whole. Over the past decade, Dryhootch has served thousands of US military veterans through veteran-to-veteran peer support, and grown to include locations in Milwaukee; Madison; Chicago; Lake County, Illinois; Atlanta and Mobile, Alabama.

Dr. Miller, a longtime hospice & palliative care physician and educator who completed an internship in internal medicine at MCW in 2003 and who currently sees patients at the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, was also the commencement speaker at Friday’s ceremonies. Dr. Miller’s interests are in working across disciplines to affect broad-based culture change and in cultivating a civic model for aging and dying. Informed by his own experiences as a patient, Dr. Miller powerfully advocates the roles of our senses, community and presence in designing a better ending. He brings a blend of training, experience and commitment to furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life and is widely recognized for his efforts in cultivating a larger dialogue about this universal human experience.

Stephen and Dr. Shelagh Roell have been pillars of the Milwaukee community for decades. They are long-time philanthropists and champions of higher education, equitable healthcare, community service, innovation and more, and have given generously of their time, expertise and resources to better the region. Mr. Roell served as a member of the MCW Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2018, and the Roells provided a gift to MCW to establish the Stephen and Shelagh Roell Endowed Chair of the Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education, and they participate frequently in Institute lectures and discussions. They have served as mentors to many and exemplify medical education’s Triple Aim of character, competence and caring.

MCW will hold commencement ceremonies for the graduates of its Central Wisconsin campus in Wausau on Thursday, May 30, and for the Green Bay campus on Friday, May 31.

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