The College of William and Mary Class of 2011 and entering graduate and transfer students will be welcomed August 31 by alumna Dr. Michelle Whitehurst-Cook (’75) at the annual Opening Convocation.
Whitehurst-Cook is a physician in the Medical College of Virginia clinic and the associate dean for admissions to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School. Michael K. Powell, Rector of the College, will also deliver remarks at the ceremony, which will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Courtyard of the Sir Christopher Wren Building.
Opening Convocation marks the beginning of the academic year at the College of William and Mary. The event is free and open to the public.
“The advancement of medical practice in the Commonwealth, and the training of its young doctors, owes much to the energy and talent of Michelle Whitehurst-Cook," said William and Mary president Gene R. Nichol. “We're proud to welcome her back to her alma mater, and know she'll be an inspiration to our newest students and to us all.”
Originally from Lawrenceville, Va., Whitehurst-Cook received a bachelor’s degree in biology at the College. While at William and Mary, she was active in the Black Students Organization and the Williamsburg Area Tutorial Service, which was a service program run by students of the College for pre-school age children in the Williamsburg area that provided educational and recreational activities for its participants. She was also a founding member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
After graduating from William and Mary she attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University. She began the practice of medicine in Providence Forge, Va. where she also served as a preceptor for young medical students from VCU’s Medical College of Virginia campus. Whitehurst-Cook joined VCU in 1993 as both a clinician and an academic faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine. She has served as director of the pre-doctoral programs for the Department of Family Medicine and chair of the VCU School of Medicine Admissions Committee. She has also served as director for the Inner City/Rural Preceptorship program at VCU.
Whitehurst-Cook is the former president of the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (1996-97) and was awarded the VCU Distinguished Service Award in 2006. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Richmond YWCA in 2007 and serves as the current President of the Richmond Medical Society. Whitehurst-Cook also volunteers with the Remote Medical Access Clinic in Wise, Va.; the Micah Project, which provides educational tutoring in Richmond, Va.; and Richmonders Involved in Strengthening Communities.