Richard Grossman, DMD57


My professional assignments, affiliations and accomplishments would not have been possible without the background and exposure I received at HMS and HSDM. From the first lecture on a morning in the fall of 1953, during which an eminent professor admonished us to: “Listen to the patient. He’s telling you the diagnosis,” through June of 1955, when about forty more joined the class from pre-clinical programs at other schools, and when, simultaneously, a dozen of us separated from the medical rotations to continue on the dental medicine path, to receiving our degrees from President, James Bryant Conant, upon the recommendations of Deans George Packer Berry and Roy O. Greep, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine ’57—ers developed friendships mellowing for six decades. For more than a quarter of them, that process had begun even earlier, upon entering Harvard College as freshmen in 1949. Now, we anticipate the sixtieth anniversary celebration of our graduation with mixed emotions. Sadly, many of our friendships have been interrupted by death, aging or severe illness. However, those of us still granted the opportunity of involvement, are truly grateful; and we look forward to indulging ourselves in the nostalgic experience.

Our 1957 commencement ceremonies did more than commemorate the conclusion of our formal academic studies. They marked the beginning of our respective health career progressions. No one could have predicted the many professional pathways along which our choices have taken us; and none of us knew where or how the totality of our lifetime would evolve. However, we have experienced miraculous journeys of lifelong service in activities ranging from general practice to remarkably diverse areas in academia, the military, clinical medicine, laboratories, and business, plus an astounding variety of combinations. We have enjoyed serving institutions and countless numbers of patients, of developing new science and treatments, expanding the boundaries of human understanding, enhancing social entities, and supporting the advance of positive causes, collecting much satisfaction and many awards along the way. 

[excerpt from Reunion Bulletin of the Class of 1957]