After years of planning and building, the first class of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas students were welcomed with open and eager arms Sunday morning.
"Oh my God, I'm really excited. This is an amazing opportunity and I can't wait to start and reform health as you can say," Ava Karimi, an incoming student of Dell Med, said.
"It's really exciting. I never really thought that I would get a chance like this to be apart of something so big so I'm really looking forward to it and the next four years are going to be awesome," Dainon Miles, a member of the 'First 50', said.
Dozens of city and state leaders, as well as UT faculty and staff were on hand to welcome the First 50. An experience that Miles did not take for granted.
"It really put it in perspective how big of a deal this is and how many people are behind us, pushing us to really be the change that medicine needs and really be a change for Austin. I really thought it was awesome," Miles said.
Dean Clay Johnston said the First 50 are a great group but feels, in some ways, he feels sorry for them.
"They as the inaugural class, they are the very first class, when you go to the wall and look at the series of pictures, this is the first one, and this school will be here for centuries. when you think about that, the responsibility, the expectations, the eyes on them. it is pretty amazing." Dean Johnston said, "So there is a lot of pressure on this group but they are up for it. I know they are and I'm sure they are going to do us proud and deliver back to this community much more than what we invested in them."
A challenge the First 50 are ready for.
"Well I mean the pressure is of course on but at the same time you feel like that pressure is pushing you forward. It feels like everybody is ready for you to step forward and make a change. I feel like this is a great place for me to be with," Karimi said.
The First 50 will begin their much anticipated first day of classes on Monday morning.