University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine prepares for unparalleled 50th anniversary celebration

50 years of excellence in medical education and research to be commemorated at March 16 Golden Gala

50th anniversary Golden Gala

March 25, 2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school. Last May, the school embarked on a year-long, community-wide celebration themed "Unrivaled history. Unlimited future." that will conclude at UNR Med's Hooding Ceremony in May 2019.

UNR Med is commemorating five decades of excellence in medical education that has resulted in training more than 3,100 physicians with approximately 40 percent practicing in Nevada.   

A 50th Anniversary Golden Gala will be held Saturday, March 16 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno starting at 6 p.m. The event will begin with a champagne welcome and opening remarks by UNR Med Dean, Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk. Dinner and a speaker program will include:

  • Thomas Kozel, Ph.D., professor, UNR Med's Department of Microbiology and Immunology, who has served on the UNR Med faculty for 48 years, since 1971, will present a history of UNR Med's past five decades;
  • Dr. Darryll Patterson, interim chair, UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine, will report on the school's present and current developments;
  • Misha Fotoohi, president, UNR Med Class of 2020, will discuss the future of the School of Medicine and developing opportunities.

After the program, guests will step into a virtual reality experience commemorating UNR Med's 50th anniversary.  

"Celebrating our golden anniversary is a significant and special milestone for UNR Med. We're excited to share not only our historic achievements, but the many innovative developments underway that will transform medical education and health care in northern Nevada, with the community, our alumni, health care partners and our supporters who have graciously supported the school over these five decades," said Schwenk.  

The public is invited. Cost is $100 per person or $800 for a table of 8. Premium tables are available for $1,600. To reserve a ticket or table, please visit or contact Lauren Siri, events manager, at (775) 682-7342 or  

The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is the presenting Underwriter for the Golden Gala. Corporate support is provided by Solid Gold Premier sponsors: Carson Tahoe Health, Donor Network West, Northern Nevada Medical Center, OptumCare, Renown Health, Saint Mary's Health Network and Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. and Jane K. Schwenk.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Golden Gala are available and will support medical student scholarships. Sponsorship levels begin at $1,600. For more information, please contact Shari Netzel, director of development, at (775) 682-6077 or, or visit  

Details on UNR Med's 50th anniversary celebrations, including events, stories, history, news and donor support information, are available at

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Tuesday January 8, 2019 @ 6:00 AM