A Double Graduation on our Founder’s 100th Birthday

On Friday 26th November we held a happy Graduation ceremony at Meridian Hall in East Grinstead. The event, attended by Town Mayor Cllr John Dabell, was a double celebration for the college. It was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Dr. Didericus van Buren.  

ICOM Graduation 2021 East GrinsteadTwenty-six students received their certificates from the Town Mayor in front of their friends and family. This year’s Graduates were joined by the 2020 Graduates whose own ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. Speaking at the event, Principal, Elio Basagni, said “Today, we are here to honour our students’ resilience and determination and applaud their success. Because we are very proud of what they have achieved in such difficult circumstances. 

“ICOM lives here in East Grinstead, on the boundary between East and West, with the mission to instil in our students the idea that science and technology are empty shells without art and humanism – that medicine needs science but remains an art. This is why we call what we do ‘the Art of Acupuncture’, and we wish for our students to be its ambassadors.” 

A brand-new entrance sign was unveiled by the Town Mayor and presented as a 100th birthday gift to Dr van Buren, who founded the college from his kitchen table nearly fifty years ago in 1972. Our premises on Green Hedges Avenue in East Grinstead was purchased in 1976 after a significant growth in student numbers.  

Dr van Buren died in 2003 but his legacy at ICOM remains strong. His unique contribution to Chinese medicine is that he made the application of the Stems and Branches Theory a reality in clinical practice and in its long history, ICOM has been a major contributor to the development of Acupuncture in the UK. Many of today’s leading figures in the world of Acupuncture trained here, including distinguished international lecturers and authors of Acupuncture and Chinese Medical textbooks used by students and practitioners around the world.  

Today there are around forty students studying Acupuncture at ICOM, both full and part time. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but they all share the common desire to help others and benefit society. ICOM is a not-for-profit organisation and for nearly fifty years through its student, graduate and professional clinics, we have strived to make high-quality Acupuncture treatment accessible to everyone in the local community.