Marshall School of Medicine Homecoming to celebrate 40th reunion of the first graduating class

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will welcome alumni and their families back to Huntington for its 34th annual homecoming celebration Oct. 8-9. The milestone occasion marks the 40th reunion of the school’s first graduating class, the Class of 1981.

 The School of Medicine Alumni Association will host a student-alumni networking lunch Friday, Oct. 8, at noon, followed by a series of lectures:

  •  1:15 p.m.:  “Non-Surgical Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma” with Shane A. Wells, M.D., (’06), associate professor of radiology and urology at the University of Wisconsin
  • 2:15 p.m.:  “Respiratory Tract Infections: 2021 Update on Diagnosis & Management” with John F. Toney, M.D. (’81), assistant chief of infectious disease and director of hospital epidemiology, antimicrobial stewardship and infectious disease clinical research programs at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of South Florida
  • 3:15 p.m.:  “Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Therapies” with Kevin S. Smith, M.D., (”86), medical director, owner and CEO of Integrated Pain Specialists of Southern California Inc. 

That evening, the School of Medicine will host a reception at 6 p.m. followed by its annual reunion banquet at 7 p.m. in the John Marshall Room at the Marshall Memorial Student Center. The banquet will celebrate the classes of 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 and present the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Smith.

Smith is a native of Logan County, West Virginia, and a former cornerback and free safety for the Marshall University football team in the late 1970s. Following an anesthesia residency at the University of Louisville, Smith began his professional career in San Diego, California. He currently serves as medical director, owner and CEO of Integrated Pain Specialists of Southern California Inc. and Regenerative Medicine & Biologics Institute Inc.   

On Saturday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 a.m., the School of Medicine will dedicate a conference room in the Marshall University Medical Center in honor of longtime Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs Cindy A. Warren. The weekend concludes with a tailgate party in front of the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute that is open to all School of Medicine alumni, family and friends from noon to 1:30 p.m., and the home football game against Old Dominion University at 2 p.m. Additional university-sponsored Homecoming events may be found at

Masking and additional pandemic protocols will be in place throughout the weekend.

Educational sessions are open to the public. Registration is encouraged. For more information, visit or contact Linda Holmes at by phone at 304-691-1711 or by e-mail at

Quotes about the School of the Medicine’s first graduating class: 

“When I started at the School of Medicine, I was so excited to be given the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. Since we were the first class, we were able to interact with the professors and administrators and set the tone for those who have followed us.”

--Brenda A. Smith, M.D., a retired nephrologist living in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, and member of the Class of 1981.

 “Twenty four students were selected as the first class of the School of Medicine. Awaiting the LCME’s notification of accreditation which arrived late in the fall of 1977, the Class of 1981 began their journey January 1978.  So began the start of the medical school.”

--Maurice A. Mufson, M.D., inaugural chair of the Department of Medicine, 1976-2002, and professor emeritus. 

 “We were the trail blazers and set the path for all those who followed. Physicians were needed in West Virginia, and I never felt there wouldn’t be a school of medicine. Now, here we are 40 years later, celebrating the Class of 1981.”

--Patrick C. Bonasso, M.D., a gynecologist in Fairmont, West Virginia, and alphabetically the first physician to graduate from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.


Date Posted: Monday, October 4, 2021