EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine has cancelled its annual ball out of respect for the more than 150 women and girls who are victims of the college’s former employee, Larry Nassar.
The ball had been set for this Saturday, Feb. 3rd.
Last week, during Nassar’s seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, dozens of women shared their stories, with the entire world watching, detailing the sexual and emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor.
Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years on seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He’s set to appear in Eaton County for sentencing on Wednesday.
In a letter to the MSU community, Andrea Amalfitano, who was recently recommended by MSU to serve as the interim dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, said: “This past week we all watched a cadre of unimaginably brave young women come forward and publicly share stories of abuse that came at the hands of someone who twisted the principles of medical care for his own depravity.”
Amalfitano went on to say that Nassar’s crimes “repulse and sadden us,” adding that the damage Nassar has caused, will never be forgotten.
“More importantly, we stand in support of the many survivors who not only endured, but also courageously brought this predator to justice,” he said.
Amalfitano said that while the funds have been raised in advance of the ball, it will still be used to support scholarships for osteopathic medical students.
“In deference to the young women who persevered and made sure that a criminal will spend the rest of his days behind bars, we will not host this event,” Amalfitano said.
The letter also said that the two raffles that were scheduled to take place during the ball, will still be held and winners will be contacted individually.
Additionally, sponsors and diplomats will receive notification of their contributions for tax purposes, and sponsorship gifts will be mailed to those slated to receive them.
All those who would like a refund on their tickets can request one via email: email@example.com or call 517-355-9616.
Read the full letter below.
Last week, MSU announced that Dr. Andrea Amalfitano, the director of MSU’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, was recommended for the position of interim dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
If approved by the MSU Board of Trustees in February, Amalfitano will begin serving as interim dean designee, immediately.
Amalfitano will be filling the role of Dr. William Strampel, who served as dean for 15 years before stepping down in December 2017 citing medical reasons.
Strampel has been under scrutiny for his handling of a 2014 MSU Title IX investigation involving Nassar.
As a result of that investigation, Strampel gave Nassar a set of guidelines to follow. One of them included Nassar having to limit “skin to skin contact” with his patients and making sure a medical professional was in the room.
A woman, who worked at a practice with Nassar, said she wasn’t informed about any of the restrictions placed upon him by MSU.
MSU said when Nassar was given those guidelines; he was expected to follow them. When the university found out he didn’t it fired him.
The MSU Board of Trustees is expected to vote on Amalfitano’s appointment on Feb. 16th.