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A year’s worth of celebratory events filled the calendar this past year as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“A dream is one thing. A realization is something entirely separate. I publicly thank you, wherever you may be, for the support of this dream,” St. Jude founder Danny Thomas said at the hospital’s opening February 4, 1962.
The celebration kicked off in November 2011 with the planting of the St. Jude Family Tree outside the hospital’s Integrated Research Center. The ceremony paid tribute to the hospital’s five decades while also acknowledging employees for their continued commitment to the hospital’s mission, and the quality, innovation, collaboration and compassion that make such a difference to patients and families.
Thomas was honored in mid-February by the United States Postal Service, which issued a forever stamp to commemorate his 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of St. Jude. Earlier that month, local dignitaries and honored guests gathered to participate in the unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Wall as part of St. Jude Anniversary Week activities. Anniversary celebrations continued throughout the year with a variety of 50th-themed events that included the St. Jude Gala in June and the Biomedical Symposium in October.