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75th Anniversary Virtual Lecture Series: The Legacy of the Scudder Family & their Passion for Missionary Work

In the spirit of celebrating the Vellore Christian Medical College (CMC) Foundation’s 75th Anniversary, the Foundation hosted its second virtual event titled “The Legacy of the Scudder Family and their Passion for Missionary Work”. At this event, our Guest Presenters Susan Swanson (Historian and Board member of the Scudder Family Association Foundation) and Reena George, M.D. (Head of the Department of Continuing Education and Archivist at CMC) delved into the rich history of a family legacy built on the desire to seek God’s Kingdom, help others and sacrifice for a good cause.  James Taylor, M.D., (Member of the Vellore CMC Foundation Board of Directors and great great grandson of Dr. Silas Scudder who founded the Scudder Memorial Hospital in Ranipet, India) was Moderator for this event that was launched on March 10th during women’s history month. Susan Swanson, (Historian and Board member of the Scudder Family Association Foundation) shared that the Scudder women’s dedicated love along with a calm and collected energy were a large part of the reason the Scudder Christian medical mission was successful. She shared testimonies and humorous vignettes that gave us a glimpse into the lives of Scudder family members who were “No dour missionaries, but a spirited and gutsy bunch” that God used in extraordinary ways.

Dr. Reena George shared that looking back at the last 150 years, the greatest impact was made as each Scudder generation expanded the vision of compassionate grace and practical love by looking beyond the barriers of gender, culture, or dogma.  She stated that in “God’s economy the little stones may be the cornerstones”.  Dr. George described the formation of the Church of South India through the efforts of Scudder missionaries which brought Christian unity in addition to outstanding medical care in one of the world’s largest hospitals. During the “Question and Answer” session it was brought to light that the Founder of CMC, Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder relied primarily on God as her source of strength, especially through prayer and a spirit of faith. These virtues along with her talents as an excellent speaker and fundraiser helped build relationships and expand on her vision for a bigger hospital in structure and excellence.

Our Prayer Leaders from the Scudder family, Paul Skudder, M.D. (Vascular Surgeon, Hyannis) and Reverend Read Sherman (Minister at United Church of Canada) prayed for God’s blessings and guidance for the Foundation’s special anniversary year and that CMC would continue to be God’s healing Presence and a beacon of hope to all.

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