Western University of Health Sciences will showcase its unprecedented growth and expansion, and raise money for student scholarships, at the 32nd annual "A Tribute to Caring" gala dinner on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009.

This year’s Tribute will be held at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, Calif. The event’s theme, "Western Expansion," reflects the continuing dramatic growth of WesternU and its impact on the region and the nation.

This year alone, WesternU has added four colleges, and soon will finish construction on 300,000 square feet of clinical and instructional space, as well as a 600-space parking garage. Enrollment in the new colleges will push the University’s student population past 2,600. WesternU also employs nearly 600 faculty and staff.

"It’s an exciting and encouraging time to be at WesternU, and to witness the change and growth that will help us continue to prepare tomorrow’s health-care leaders and innovators," said Dr. Philip Pumerantz, the University’s founding president. "The funds raised through ‘A Tribute to Caring’ help make dreams a reality for countless students who want to serve their fellows as health-sciences professionals."

WesternU will bestow Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria with the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award, the University’s highest honor. The Sarkarias, of Orange, are longtime supporters of WesternU’s research into Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. As part of WesternU’s expansion, they recently made a major commitment to the University’s new Health Education Center, and to supporting the establishment of the Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship.

Receiving the Humanitarian of the Year Award will be philanthropist and national science education advocate G. Patricia Beckman, of Corona del Mar. Ms. Beckman, a multidisciplinary health care professional in her own right, is a committed supporter of student scholarships, educational programs and institutions dedicated to the advancement of the natural sciences, medicine and engineering.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors also will receive special recognition for its efforts on behalf of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, which partners with WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific as a leader in osteopathic residency education and as one of COMP’s core clinical rotation sites. The partnership celebrates the 10th anniversary of the new Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s construction, which could not have been accomplished without the steadfast support of the county Board of Supervisors.

Proceeds from "A Tribute to Caring" will provide much-needed scholarship support for students in the colleges of biomedical sciences, dental medicine, graduate nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, allied health professions, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. WesternU’s students are tomorrow’s health-care providers, combining medical and scientific expertise with a humanistic philosophy and carrying the University’s message across the globe.

Ticket reservations and sponsorship information on this fun evening of tribute to caring are available by calling Rocki Moreno, Special Events coordinator, at (909) 469-5439.