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[April 1,2010]


Looking Forward by Honoring the Past:

SUNY Downstate Sesquicentennial Ball on April 10 Celebrates 150 Years of Medical Education

In celebration of its proud history, SUNY Downstate Medical Center is holding a Sesquicentennial Ball on April 10 at Stage 6 Steiner Studios in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. SUNY Downstate traces its roots to 1860, the year the first medical school class graduated from what was then the Collegiate Division of The Long Island College Hospital. This gala occasion promises to be a highlight of a yearlong series of events that began with a Sesquicentennial Convocation held on Downstate’s East Flatbush campus in September.

At the Ball, a special awards ceremony will recognize three faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to SUNY Downstate and who personify the institution’s history and hopes for the future: Dr. Eva Cramer has made Downstate a leader in biotechnology in the region; Dr. Gerald Deas exemplifies the campus’s dedication to the health and well-being of the community it serves; and Dr. Eli Friedman’s accomplishments in renal medicine research and patient care are known and admired throughout the world.       

Since its founding, Downstate has graduated thousands of physicians and other health professionals. The campus became part of the State University of New York, the largest system of higher education in the country. And a significant number of its alumni and faculty have made their mark in New York and all over the world.

Today, SUNY Downstate is a major academic health center with five professional schools, a large research enterprise, and a vibrant hospital and medical practice. It is also an economic catalyst for Brooklyn, New York City, and New York State. Downstate has trained more physicians practicing in Brooklyn and New York City than any other medical school and boasts as diverse a student body and faculty as can be found anywhere.

All proceeds from the Ball will go toward student scholarship. More information is available online at


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.