In 1975, hundreds of freshmen Texas A&M University pre-med students gathered in Rudder Auditorium for orientation. The speakers didn’t mince words. “Look at the person in front of you,” one speaker instructed. “Now, look to those on your left and right. Now look at the student behind you. Out of the five of you, only one will make it into medical school.” Dr. David Lawson ’79 ’81 was among those students, and he didn’t like his odds. “I happened to be sitting next to a friend of mine who scored a 1600 on her SAT—a perfect score at the time,” he said. “So, I got up and moved to a different seat.”
The seating change, combined with more than a few prayers, worked wonders. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M in 1979, Lawson received his acceptance letter to medical school—and not just any school. He and a mere 31 other students would make up the charter class at Texas A&M’s brand-new School of Medicine, and Lawson was among the first to receive a Doctor of Medicine degree from Aggieland in 1981.