Convocation Ceremony: Tradition With a Fresh Twist

Inspired by New Orleans, a city that knows how to blend diverse cultures and traditions and add its own flare, ACC.19 closed with a revamped Convocation Ceremony celebrating award winners, welcoming new Fellows and Associates, and introducing new ACC president, Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC.

Presided over by outgoing president, C. Michael Valentine, MD, MACC, Convocation recognized the dedication, hard work and professional achievements of Distinguished Award Winners and new MACCs.

“Twelve months ago, I stood before you on a similar stage and spoke about each of the themes of Convocation – tradition, celebration, transition and renewal,” said Valentine in his Presidential Address. “Today, I would like to concentrate on two of these themes: celebration and transition. We celebrate a tremendous year together for the College. So many great things have happened thanks to the incredible teamwork and efforts of our staff and member leaders. Together, we are truly transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health.”

New this year, the six Young Investigator Award (YIA) first and second place winners in the categories of Basic and Translational Science, Clinical Investigations and Outcomes Research were announced live on stage. This year’s YIA finalists came from nine states, two countries and 16 different institutions. Additionally, Convocation recognized those individuals receiving Merck Research Fellowship Awards, the ACC/William F. Keating ESC. Endowment Award, the Presidential Career Development Award and the W. Proctor Harvey Young Teachers Award. (Check out the ACC.19 Playlist on ACC’s YouTube to watch their videos.)

“Look to your left and to your right: where earlier you may have seen a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger, you now see a colleague,” said Kovacs during his presidential acceptance speech. “At times ACC may seem large and complicated, but let me assure you, if you simply embrace the College, it will feel uncomplicated, very comfortable, and even intimate.”

Kovacs will lead the College as it celebrates its 70th Anniversary and embarks on the first year of its new Strategic Plan. He is the Q.E. and Sally Russell Professor of Cardiology at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and the cardiology service line leader of IU Health. He also serves as the clinical director of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology.

“As the sports metaphor goes: we need to ‘say it on the scoreboard,’ said Kovacs, challenging the roughly 200 new Fellows and Associates to get involved in the College. “This means transforming care and improving heart health in tangible ways.”

Convocation marked the end of ACC.19 and three days of science, education and innovation. For complete coverage from the meeting visit the ACC Meeting Coverage Page at or check out the conversations on Twitter using #ACC19.

The ACC and the World Heart Federation will jointly host ACC’s 69th Annual Scientific Session with the WHF’s World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC), taking place March 28-30, 2020, in Chicago, IL.

Keywords: ACC Publications, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper, ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC19

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