SHSU Dedicates New Teaching Theater to Creighton & Metcalf

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Sam Houston State honors legislators with state-of-the-art educational facility.

CONROE, TX — In a special ceremony featuring education leaders from across the state, the Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM) presented the Brandon Creighton & Will Metcalf Teaching Theater to its namesakes on April 22.

Since its inception, the SHSU-COM has been supported in its mission to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Texas by Senator Creighton, of District 4, and Representative Metcalf, of District 16. Through their support, SHSU was able to establish the nation’s seventh osteopathic school of medicine and the first new school established with legislative support since 1977. The inaugural class of Bearkat medical doctors will graduate May 9.

Dr. Thomas J. Mohr, dean of SHSU-COM boasted his school’s accomplishments in the few years since its founding, including a 97% pass rate on the national board exams among the inaugural class, a 100% match rate during the inaugural Match Day, with 62% of the matches staying in the state and the school’s recent accreditation with exceptional outcomes.

“It’s truly remarkable that in such a short time, we’ve been able to accomplish this much and because of your efforts, we are now the least expensive osteopathic medical school in the country,” Mohr said. “The most affordable and the highest quality, that’s what we’re all about here at Sam Houston State and all we can do is thank you for what you’ve done because this is the beginning of a long-lasting legacy.”

SHSU President Alisa White also remarked on the significance of Creighton and Metcalf’s support, which never wavered from the time the accredited medical school was merely an idea.

“The Brandon Creighton & Will Metcalf Teaching Theater is more than a high-quality space for lectures,” White said. “It is a physical acknowledgment of an intangible thing—and that is unwavering, tireless support from Senator Creighton and Representative Metcalf for the College of Osteopathic Medicine.”

Senator Creighton is a resident of Montgomery County, where the COM is housed, and has supported the university while serving on the Senate Education Committee and Subcommittee on Higher Education. Last year, he authored Senate Bill 1563, which made the COM eligible for funding granted through the health-related institution and operation formula.

Representative Metcalf, a Bearkat alumnus, serves the residents of Montgomery County. As Chairman of the House Administration Committee and member of State Affairs Committee, Representative Metcalf has championed his alma mater in many ways since taking office, including supporting Senator Creighton’s bill as it made its way to the governor’s desk.

The state legislators and university leaders were joined in the ceremony by Texas State University System (TSUS) Chancellor Brian McCall; Sean Cunningham, TSUS vice chancellor for governmental relations and Pierce Mitchell, TSUS assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations.

During the ceremony, McCall recalled the day that SHSU-COM was officially approved, and how Creighton and Metcalf pushed for the medical school to receive formula funding.

“Brandon and Will said that it wasn’t fair to have the only medical school in Texas where their students and their district pay twice the rate at a time when we needed more physicians in Texas, at a time when we had a medical school focused on bringing rural doctors to Texas,” McCall said. “And so they did the right thing and got formula funding for our students.”