CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Light chatter hung in the air at the Clay Center's Walker Theater as the first name was called.
Brewer's face lit up as he walked forward and accepted the envelope that would change the course of his life.
He was one of about 40 students from the West Virginia University-Charleston Division School of Medicine who gathered to receive their match letters from the National Resident Matching Program, a private corporation that decides where graduate medical students will complete their residencies.
A Bridgeport native, Brewer will stay in Charleston as he does his three-year residency in internal medicine at Charleston Area Medical Center.
One by one, students were called to the front of the room to accept their letter from Kathleen Bors, dean for student services at WVU-Charleston.
Although Brewer was first, he waited until all of his classmates at his table had been called before he tore into his envelope.
"I wanted us all to open it together and enjoy the experience," said Brewer, who added that he is happy to be staying in West Virginia.
"They told us when we filled out our ranking list not to put any place on there that we didn't want to go," he said. "That way today, whatever the outcome, is good news."
Brandon Radow also will complete his residency at CAMC, for general surgery. "Charleston was my first choice," the city native said. "I am glad to be staying home. I think WVU has done a great job of preparing me and I think highly of the system and I am thankful to have trained with them in Charleston."
The WVU School of Medicine satellite campus in Charleston was formed in 1972 as part of a federal rural-health initiative to expand medical schools beyond the traditional campus. It's the oldest regional medical school campus in the nation.
The WVU satellite campus was the first of its kind and has been "incredibly successful," said Jeff Driggs, director of communications and marketing for the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center's Charleston Division.
Twin sisters Catherine and Carolyn Marcelo, 25, were accepted for an internal-medicine residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
"We did undergrad together at medical school and now we're going to do our residency together," Carolyn said with a smile.
The sisters from Huntington interviewed separately, and Catherine ranked VCU second behind Carolyn's first-rank spot -- but the sisters ended up together anyway.
"Having that support system there is going to mean a lot," Carolyn said.