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In song, dance, and thoughtful reflection, the UNC School of Medicine Class of 2020 paid tribute to those who donated their bodies in benefit of the students’ education. The annual Anatomy Memorial Service is a chance for students to honor the families of these donors, referred to throughout the ceremony as the ‘first teachers.’

“Through these gifts we have learned things that textbooks could never teach, and through this ceremony we hope to celebrate the life and humanity of each of these people,” said Susan Zhao, Class of 2022 Co-President.

After working in the anatomy lab for the year, Zhao’s co-president Emily Trambert said organizing this event had been a ‘great honor.’

“It has been incredible to learn from each of you about the great lives led by your loved ones,” Trambert said.

The ceremony spanned several disciplines, with students from the Physician’s Assistant, Physical Therapy, and School of Dentistry also represented.

Each student mentioned how the gift of each of these families would ultimately make them better health care providers.

In between remarks and reflections, several students performed, paying tribute to the donors by utilizing their great talent for the arts.

In his reflection, medical student Ben Kaplan spoke for his classmates.

“We will do everything that we can to make them and you proud.”