Names are important because they represent who we are and what we value. They intrinsically incorporate us into the traditions and heritage of our family. They bind us to our past and secure us to our future.
My full name is Alfred Lynne Brannen, II. My name represents who and what I am. I was named after my grandfather and my paternal uncle. My parents named my older brother after my father and my younger brother after my mother’s brothers. By passing on these names from generation to generation my parents made it clear to us that we were part of a larger heritage. My Uncle Lynne was so proud that I was carrying on his father’s name he wrote me a letter on the day of my birth. My mother kept it securely tucked away and presented it to me on my 16th birthday. I still treasure that old letter and keep it framed on the wall in my office. It was lovingly crafted on an old manual typewriter with typos and corrections giving it timeless character in my eyes. In the letter, he reminded me to honor my heritage and family and to protect the integrity of our good name. I have always strived to follow his advice.
Framed on my office wall next to my uncle’s letter are all of my diplomas and licenses. I treasure my Medical College of Georgia diploma as it represents another proud and valuable heritage. The hard work and studies, my classmates, my professors and the many good times we enjoyed in those years are irreplaceable memories. MCG made me a doctor. It is part of my being and I am proud to be part of its tradition and heritage.
Next to my MCG diploma is another diploma from Augusta State University. I treasure it as much as the other. In 2002, I earned a master of business administration degree from the Hull College of Business, after five years of late nights studying while practicing medicine full-time. The business skills I learned from its most talented faculty during those years have helped me sustain my practice through a number of challenges. I would not give back those years for anything.
Like many of you, the turmoil of the past several years left me worried that the tradition and heritage of both institutions would not be preserved. I am thankful that the administration has worked to protect the history and traditions of both. In fact, shortly after the Augusta University renaming Dr. Keel emblazoned the Medical College of Georgia name on the Harrison Education Commons, where it belonged.
As we move into a new year, we have much greater things to accomplish together. MCG and AU are not antonyms — they are synonyms. The name and traditions of both have much value and meaning in the lives of our students, faculty, alumni and community. Both have generations of alumni that are both part of our proud history and the building blocks for our future. It is not one, or the other — there is no need to diminish one to promote the other.
I am a part of both, and both are part of me. God bless Augusta University. God bless the Medical College of Georgia.
Lynne Brannen, MD, MBA
Class of 1982, 2002