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UTRGV SOM says ‘Thank You’ in Super Bowl 50 ad, announces its #FirstClass 50

By Jennifer L. Berghom

EDINBURG, TEXAS, FEB. 22, 2016 — The camera pans across a rack of iconic white coats, then travels down a stethoscope and moves slowly across some orange and gray stitching.

It was just for 30 seconds, but people in the Rio Grande Valley who were watching SuperBowl 50 got an important message from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: The UTRGV School of Medicine is ready for kickoff.

The commercial, produced by UTRGV’s University Marketing and Creative Services team, aired locally during Super Bowl Sunday as a “thank-you note to the community,” said Dr. Kimberly Selber, UTRGV director of marketing and chief creative officer.

“We’ve been trying to get this medical school for a long time, and we’re very thankful it has arrived,” she said. “So that became the theme. The medical school is here, and our first class begins in July.”

As the camera moves over the white medical coats, revealing the School of Medicine logo stitched on the chest, we hear student voices, thanking the university and the Rio Grande Valley for giving them the opportunity to be a part of the medical school’s #FirstClass.

The commercial closes with a visual message: “The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine … Welcoming the first class … July 2016.” In closing, a student says, “Today, everything changes.”

Selber, who with her team spent the better part of a month planning and shooting the commercial, said the team decided to focus the commercial on this milestone in the creation of the medical school, because of the timing of football’s biggest annual event and the School of Medicine’s biggest event to date: match day, when medical school applicants learn which schools have accepted them and when medical schools learn which students ranked them as a potential place to attend.

Plus, the school and the championship game also had the number 50 in common – the School of Medicine’s inaugural class will have 50 students, and the Super Bowl celebrated its 50th year.

The idea for the commercial’s theme developed from discussions with medical school administrators, who talked about how the committee reviewing the applications sought to find highly qualified applicants who would complement the medical school’s mission, she said.

Dr. Francisco Fernandez, inaugural dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, said that after so much planning and effort, it was a thrill to watch the commercial and its message.

“It was a special moment, seeing those white coats and our School of Medicine logo on the television screen for the first time,” he said. “We sincerely thank the Valley for its ongoing support, and can’t wait to open our doors in July to our first class of 50 medical students.”

The commercial can be seen online at

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