August 11, 2017

Sign of the student times: M-Home houses receive official insignia

Each house has a different color (maroon, purple, hunter green and blue) and one-word phrase that best describes a quality of its namesake (equality, justice, discovery and resilience)

M-Home insignia collage

Since it debuted in 2015 by welcoming that year's incoming class of medical students, M-Home has provided a learning community framework for medical education. M-Home encourages student input and engagement at all levels, from planning wellness activities to developing and implementing a peer mentor program, as well as other initiatives designed to improve the student experience.

At first, the M-Home houses had simple names: A. B, C and D. In 2016, students participated in a process that resulted in the houses receiving new names honoring academic ancestors who most exemplified the spirit of impact: innovating, learning, serving and contributing in their time and beyond: Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler House (formerly house A), Dr. Jonas Edward Salk House (B), Dr. Alice Hamilton House (C) and Dr. Amanda Sanford House (D). 

As M-Home has evolved, so, too, has its presence within the Medical School student community. Now, each house has an official insignia (see below for a photo and description of each home's new look). In addition, the Medical School has adopted an overall insignia for the M-Home community. Recently, students were given t-shirts and lapel pins to commemorate the new look of their respective houses.

Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler House

House Color: Maroon

AEQUITAS – Equality

An exceptional educator, humanitarian and physician who fervently sought to improve the health of African Americans, Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler (1842-1901) became the first African-American to graduate from the Medical School in 1872. He ultimately founded and became dean of the resulting Louisville National Medical College and hospital for more than two decades.

He championed diversity, equality, and social justice during a time when racial and gender inequality were the norm. He was a benevolent individual, a physician of great curiosity, courage, and commitment, and one with a vision to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.

The “hands” represent equality and humanism, two key aspects of Dr. Fitzbutler’s legacy.

Dr. Alice Hamilton House

House Color: Purple

IUSTITIA – Justice

Dr. Alice Hamilton (1869-1970), a member of the Medical School Class of 1893, was the first U.S. physician to devote herself to research in industrial and occupational health. In 1919, Dr. Hamilton was hired as an assistant professor in a new Department of Industrial Medicine at Harvard Medical School, making her the first woman appointed to their faculty in any field. She published the first American textbook on industrial hygiene, and another on industrial toxicology.

Her empathy, humanism, courage, and perseverance were evident through her advocacy for women’s equality and the rights of others. She was a woman of great integrity with a vision to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.

The “scales” acknowledge Dr. Hamilton’s many contributions to social justice.

Dr. Jonas Edward Salk House

House Color: Hunter Green

INVENTUM – Discovery

Dr. Jonas Edward Salk (1914-95) was an American medical researcher who discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine. He completed a research fellowship at the University of Michigan and was a faculty member at the University of Michigan in the School of Public Health, where he worked on developing an influenza vaccine.

Dr. Salk was an individual who subverted his own self-interest for the benefit of others. He was a scientist of distinct integrity driven by compassion and a personal desire to improve the lives of others. He was a benevolent individual, a physician of great curiosity, courage, and commitment, and one with a vision to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.

The “sun” represents life and pays tribute to Dr. Salk’s quip when asked whether he would patent his vaccine: “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

Dr. Amanda Sanford House

House color: Blue

CONSTANTIA – Resilience

Dr. Sanford (1838-94) was the first woman to earn a M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, graduating with highest honors in her class in March 1871. Her graduation thesis, “Puerperal Eclampsia,” was a thorough review of the state of knowledge at the time about this dire obstetrical complication and included original research as well as statistics and case studies.

Dr. Sanford’s willingness to pursue the study of medicine at a time when gender inequality pervaded many professional careers is but a small attestation to her courage, perseverance, and resilience. She was a woman of deep integrity and honesty who used her intellectual gifts to spur scientific innovation with a vision to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.

The “fetal heart tracing” is a symbol of Dr. Sanford’s contribution to the health of women and children.