In June 2016, founding director of the Godwin Center for Medical Sciences, Todd Allen Phillips, passed away in a car accident.
Phillips’ death came during the midst of renaming the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology to the Center for Medical Sciences.
Phillips himself spearheaded the center change.
The Godwin community was able to come together after Phillips’ death and celebrate his legacy by finishing the renaming process of the center.
Godwin has continued to keep his memory alive for the past year and a half.
In the fall of 2016, Godwin hosted a T. Philly Birthday Bash to celebrate Phillips’ life by bringing the community together with music.
In late 2016, the name of the Center for Medical Sciences was changed to “The Todd Allen Phillips Center for Medical Sciences.”
“Over 50 letters from the community were written and presented to the school board, and they approved it,” said principal Leigh Dunavant on the name change.
The center was officially renamed during a dedication ceremony on Oct. 30.
Dunavant revealed the changes being made to the center, and the audience included family, friends, former administration, teachers, alumni, and former athletes.
Phillips’ wife, Kelly Phillips, spoke at the ceremony.
“There’s a brand new sign above the center and a big portrait of Mr. Phillips in the center office.” said Dunavant.
Students have supported the dedication as well.
Senior and center student Yara Ibrahim said, “I feel it is a nice way to honor his legacy and keep his presence at Godwin. Although he is not physically with us, he is in our hearts.”
New center director Kelly Ostrom said there are plans to continue Mr. Phillips’ legacy.
“We’re working on fulfilling the visions he had in mind for the center, [such as] incorporating a CPR course [for underclassmen] and an EMT course [for upperclassmen],” said Ostrom.
Ostrom said the Godwin community is also working to establish partnerships in the area to create internship opportunities for rising juniors.
Earlier this year, the center hosted a medical simulation for students.
“It’s a type of medical emergency that’s presented to the students and they have to solve it in a real-time manner. It gives students a type of hands-on experience with problem solving,” said Ostrom.
Kishen Narayan, a sophomore in the medical center, participated in the simulation.
“I really liked how it allowed us to see what medical school was really like,” said Narayan, “we also got to talk to real-life med students,” said Narayan.
Dunavant and others within the community hope the renaming and new activities will create the center Phillips envisioned.
“I just hope that having the things dedicated in the center will keep his memory alive and motivate students to work as hard as he did,” said Dunavant.