Columbia’s George Jenkins Honored in Newark Mural

Columbia’s George Jenkins, DMD, assistant professor of dental medicine at CUMC was shaped by indelible bonds formed in his youth in Newark, NJ, an experience he wrote inspirational bestsellers about in collaboration with two lifelong friends. Recently, the city paid its own tribute to the three men.

 Last month, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and The Newark Public Art Program unveiled a mural honoring Drs. George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, and Sampson Davis. Located in the West Ward on 16 Avenue, the mural is one of at least 40 local works of art designed to reflect the spirit and pride of the city.

For the honorees, who have a shared history in Newark, that sense of pride is strong. “It really feels good to have been chosen to be a part of this campaign,” said Dr. Jenkins. “The love of the people in the community we come from is overwhelming.”

Known collectively as the “three doctors,” they met as freshmen at University High School in 1987. At the time, the young men couldn’t have known that they would form an unbreakable bond. But through that bond, they found inspiration in spite of the obstacles—financial hardship, peer pressure, and familial struggles, to name a few—they faced.

And when, as teenagers, they promised to become doctors, they couldn’t have known just how far that promise would take them. Almost twenty years later, George Jenkins is a dentist and assistant professor of dental medicine at CDM; Rameck Hunt is an internist at University Medical Center at Princeton and an assistant professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and Sampson Davis, is an emergency room physician at several hospitals, including St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.

“I want to thank George, Rameck, and Sampson for the work that they’ve done,” Mayor Baraka said before unveiling the city’s newest mural. “They could have just gone to school and went about their business, but they decided to make their success everybody’s success and that’s important for all of us.”

Indeed, after fulfilling their promise, they chronicled their stories in the New York Times bestseller The Pact. In addition to writing and talking to students around the country, the trio started the Three Doctors Foundation to mentor disadvantaged children and offer them positive examples.

“There has been a lot of chatter in the neighborhood from people who didn’t know our story,” said Dr. Jenkins, who first dreamed of becoming a dentist after a routine checkup as a teenager. “And it has given us a chance to further spread our message of hope, education, and community service.”