Sesquicentennial Gala

The Wayne State University School of Medicine hosted a black tie gala, A Sesquicentennial Celebration, recognizing our 150-year history of urban clinical excellence and community outreach in the heart of Detroit.

The celebration took place on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the MGM Grand Detroit. Distinguished alumni and community members were honored for the 2018 Ambassador, Trailblazer and Distinguished Community Service awards.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration Gala was an evening devoted to the reflection and recognition of the Wayne State University School of Medicine and our dedication to the city of Detroit. Proceeds from the gala will support the many student organizations that work to address health disparities and enhance health equity.

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Photo Booth Pictures


Congratulations to the Wayne State University School of Medicine recipients of the 2018 Ambassador, Trailbazer and Distinguished Service to the Community Award.  These individuals are nominated by their peers and selected by a distinguished committee from the field of nominees. 

Ambassador Award

The Ambassador Award honors individuals or corporations who, through acts and deeds, epitomize the spirit of Wayne State University and the School of Medicine. Those honored represent world-class vision; leadership; and progress shown through outstanding service, commitment to our teaching and research missions, and dedication to the city and the community.

Dr. Pranatharthi Chandrasekar

Dr. Pranatharthi ChandrasekarPranatharthi Chandrasekar, M.D., known as "Dr. Chandra" to his colleagues and students, has been an invaluable member of the Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty since 1983. A professor of Internal Medicine and infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Chandrasekar has been praised by his peers, mentees and patients for his vision and zeal for humanitarian concerns. Continue reading about our Ambassador Award winner.




Trailblazer Award

The Trailblazer Award celebrates the rich tradition of Wayne State University School of Medicine innovators. The award recognizes alumni and faculty who, through their perseverance and dedication, have forged paths through previously unexplored territory to become pioneers in their field of medicine and medical research.

Dr. James Collins

Dr. James CollinsA 1949 alumnus of Wayne State University, James Collins, M.D., has continuously played an integral role in the profession of Pediatrics and social justice. After receiving his medical degree in 1953 from the University of Michigan, Dr. Collins completed an internship at St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing and a residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Continue reading about our Trailblazer Award winner.




Dr. George Dean

George A. DeanGeorge Dean, M.D., received an undergraduate degree from Wayne State University in 1953 and his medical degree from the School of Medicine in 1956. Dr. Dean is considered one of the founding fathers of the Family Medicine specialty. After joining the Wayne State University School of Medicine as a clinical faculty member, he worked with his colleagues to establish the American Board of Family Practice, known today as the American Board of Family Medicine. Continue reading about our Trailblazer Award winner.



Distinguished Community Service Award

The Distinguished Community Service Award is given to an individual, community organization or corporation who has made major contributions to humanitarian causes or who demonstrate dedication to directly impacting and improving the community served by Wayne State University and the School of Medicine.

Dr. Arash Javanbakht

arash javanbakhtArash Javanbakht, M.D., is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Continue reading about our Distinguished Community Service Award winner.





Sponsorship Opportunities

Since its founding as the Detroit Medical College in 1868, the Wayne State University School of Medicine has remained committed to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community engagement, maintaining a steadfast devotion to serving those most in need. With an unfailing loyalty to the city, our talented medical students, under the guidance of our faculty, continue to expand patient outreach and devote their time and energy to furthering the school's mission of improving equitable access to health care for all. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

We thank our sponsors for their generosity. 

Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms at a discounted rate have been reserved at the MGM Grand and the Westin Book Cadillac. When you make reservations, mention Wayne State University School of Medicine Sesquicentennial Gala to receive the discount rate. Rooms fill up fast so be sure to make your reservations early.

Example table with caption
MGM Grand Detroit The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
1777 3rd Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226
Hotel Reservations: 877-888-2121
Negotiated Rate: $219
Reserve by Aug. 23
1114 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48226
Hotel Reservations: 888-627-7150
Negotiated Rate: $199
Reserve by Sept. 1

Contact Us

For questions regarding the Sesquicentennial Gala, please contact Caryn Volpe at or call 313-577-0358.