Vinn, Swallow Receive Honors at Annual Founders' Day Ceremony
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Vinn, Swallow Receive Honors at Annual Founders' Day


February 3, 2023

Celebrating the legacy of founders Mason Wiley Pressly, DO, and Oscar John Snyder, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) held its annual Founders' Day event on Friday, January 27, awarding the College's highest honors, the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal and the Alumni Association Certificate of Honor. The ceremony was live streamed on the College's YouTube channel.

Two esteemed alumni, Norman Edward Vinn, DO '77, MBA, and William B. Swallow, DO '79, MS/FM '20, FACOFP; Captain, MC, USNR (ret.), were named 2023 recipients of the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal and the Alumni Association Certificate of Honor, respectively.

Introduced by Chairman of the PCOM Board of Trustees, Thomas J. Gravina, President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, reflected on PCOM's humble beginnings. “PCOM's legacy began with the vision of Mason Wiley Pressly, DO, and Oscar John Snyder, DO. A number of medical schools and hospitals were already on the scene in 1899 when the physicians set their sights on Philadelphia, a mecca for medical education,” said Dr. Feldstein. “[Pressly and Snyder] opened the Philadelphia College and Infirmary of Osteopathy in two rooms of an office building at 21 South 12th Street, establishing the nation's third osteopathic college—our College.”

Thomas J. Gravina, Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, Jason Swallow and Paul Lapoint, DO '90 smiling during PCOM's Founders' Day eventThe Alumni Certificate of Honor, awarded this year to Dr. William B. Swallow, was presented by PCOM Alumni Association President Paul Lapoint, DO '90. Dr. Lapoint noted Dr. Swallow's lifelong commitment to the osteopathic profession, saying, “Dr. Swallow has practiced osteopathic family medicine for 42 years while embedding himself in community service in various capacities.” Dr. Swallow's son, Jason, accepting the honor on his father's behalf, echoed those comments and emphasized his father's deep devotion to his alma mater. “My dad loves osteopathic medicine, and he loves this college,” he said. “I encourage everyone to continue their support of the mission and the vision of this great institution.”

Before bestowing Dr. Vinn with the O.J. Snyder Medal, Dr. Feldstein noted Vinn's long career, his early interest in osteopathic medicine, and his family's legacy in the osteopathic profession. “It's amazing to me, the more I speak with our alumni, how many legacies we have at this institution,” said Feldstein.

Thomas J. Gravina, Norman Edward Vinn, DO '77, and Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, pose during PCOM's Founders' Day eventDraped with a medal around his neck, Dr. Vinn began his acceptance by lightheartedly questioning his qualifications for such an honor, wondering if it may have been a mistake.“Could this have been a clerical error,” he joked. Despite his initial bewilderment, Dr. Vinn was deeply humbled to have been selected for the award and dedicated it to his late father, Joseph Edward Vinn, DO '41. “If there is a reason for this award, and for my entire career,” he said, ‘it is the inspiration of my father.” Vinn described his father as a “shy, humble person who never sought the spotlight. Just kept his nose to the grindstone and did what was right for his patients. A supporter and a role model. An embodiment of duty, loyalty and service.”

“He deserves to share in this honor,” he added. Vinn also recognized his wife, Marsha, and his three daughters, Lily, Danielle and Vanessa.

Vinn concluded his remarks with commentary on the osteopathic profession, O.J. Snyder, the namesake of the award for which he now joins the list of distinguished recipients, and PCOM as an institution.

“We are entering our 125th year at PCOM,” he said. “All of the graduates here today appreciate how the school has changed our lives, and that PCOM will continue to change the lives of others in the future.”

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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