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History

Motto: Worthy to Serve the Suffering
National AOA Home Founded in 1938 by William Webster Root
West Virginia Alpha Chapter Founded in 1962

On April 25, 1962, James A. Campbell, MD Secretary/Treasurer of the National Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society notified WVU Vice President for Health Sciences, Kenneth E. Penrod, PhD, that the West Virginia alpha chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha was approved as a new chapter of the honor medical society as established by the faculty members of AOA Home.

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William Root was proud of the fact that, when he founded the society to counter the prevailing attitude toward medical students "such protests arose entirely from the students, not one member of the faculty having been consulted." Today, in order to provide continuity as students graduate, each chapter has a faculty councilor who becomes a member of the national governing council. A chapter's activities are determined by the councilor and the student members.

On a national level, the governing council elects a board of directors, which consists of leaders in medical education, a medical student, an intern, a resident, and three chapter councilors. The board in turn elects the society's officers-president, vice-president, and secretary treasurer. It also appoints an executive secretary, who is responsible for administering the central office with the assistance of a small staff. In 1977, the society established its central office in Menlo Park, California, which coordinates programs and communications between chapters and the national governing body. As the society has grown with the establishment of new chapters and the resultant increase in membership, the activities of the central office staff have grown apace.

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