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CMSRU students embody MLK's legacy through annual Day of Service

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) witnessed an extraordinary demonstration of commitment as nearly 300 medical students actively engaged in the school's annual MLK Day of Service event, embodying the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and their dedication to the Camden community.

Students collaborated with local leaders, community groups, churches, and schools, participating in a range of impactful activities designed to make a positive difference in Camden. From cleaning up the Cooper Sprouts Community Garden to crafting lunches for guests of Cathedral Kitchen, delivering meals to local senior citizens, conducting wellness workshops and arts and crafts classes for vulnerable populations, to painting and enhancing interiors and exteriors at several Camden churches and schools—CMSRU students showcased their commitment to service.

"Service to the community is a cornerstone of CMSRU's mission and an integral part of our culture,” said Annette C. Reboli, MD, dean of CMSRU. “Today, as our students dedicated themselves to various service projects across Camden in honor of MLK Day, they exemplified our ongoing dedication to engaging with the residents of this city."

Dean Reboli emphasized the significance of the students' volunteerism in relation to MLK and his vision, stating, "Each academic year, all CMSRU students are required to engage in service projects that directly support Camden residents. This commitment is rooted not only in the professional responsibility of those in medicine but also in the belief that the community has much to teach our students about providing compassionate healthcare."

CMSRU's commitment to community engagement was recognized in 2019 when the school received the prestigious Association of American Medical Colleges’ Spencer Foreman Award for Community Engagement. This esteemed accolade further underscores CMSRU's dedication to impactful service initiatives, aligning seamlessly with the values celebrated on MLK Day.

Max von Suskil, a first-year student at CMSRU, exemplified the spirit of service on MLK Day by contributing to the Cooper Sprouts Community Garden, a project initiated nearly a decade ago by CMSRU students. Max, alongside classmates and volunteers, cleared brush and debris, setting the stage for spring planting. Reflecting on his involvement, Max shared, "I like to give back to the community and set things up for the future. Planting seeds fits nicely for sprouts and where we are today."

Adding to the impactful activities, CMSRU students joined efforts to restore a historic house on Walnut Street, believed to be where Martin Luther King Jr. resided during his seminary studies. The transformative project aims to turn the Walnut Street house into a museum, showcasing Camden's role in the Civil Rights Movement and King's time in the city.

This annual MLK Day of Service not only reflects CMSRU's commitment to the betterment of Camden but also stands as a testament to the enduring impact of community-driven initiatives spearheaded by medical students, showcasing their dedication to creating positive change.