News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, May 9, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Thursday was their hooding ceremony, and on Friday, they officially become doctors. However, they are leaving behind a tradition that will only grow.
It's the ceremony everyone in this room has been waiting for, but before these doctors got in the Bell Auditorium for their ceremony, a lot of them were outside at a garden in the Harrisburg community.
"They are the most incredible group of young adults that I've ever been around -- they give me hope," said Marsha Jones.
Jones works at St. Luke United Methodist in Harrisburg. In her six years at the church, she's only worked with one class -- the 2013 grads.
But on Thursday, the new doctors gave Jones even more hope.
"The class of 2013 will be leaving a gift to the school of medicine. Establishing a grant that will fund student life and community outreach programs," said Class President Ronnie Zeidan at the Hooding Ceremony.
Zeidan says they are only giving back what their institution taught them, but there's also a personal touch.
"We've had a group of guys live in the Harrisburg community and really entrenched themselves in that community," Zeidan said.
Brett Heimlich is one of those guys. He stared with the Class of 2013 but will continue his medical studies for another year. He says he's glad to be a part of the group that started all of this but also happy because he can now guide a new group that will continue the tradition.
"I'm excited for what's next. I think Harrisburg and Augusta are full of potential. I think there's only good things in the horizon, so I'm optimistic," Heimlich said.
Jones says the Class of 2013 is special and she wants everyone to know it.
"If you could meet this class of medical students, you would want them to be your doctor," Jones said.
So, as they prepare to enter their new field, they know their old one is in good hands.
The Class of 2013 gave $5,000 toward community projects. They hope to donate money each year and hope others students help their efforts.