Vol. 12 No. 11 - June, 2010

Commencement 2010

Sloan-Kettering president to UMass Worcester graduates: ‘Appreciate the process of flux’

Robert Carlin Photography
Keynote speaker Harold E. Varmus, MD

The 37th Commencement exercises of the University of Massachusetts Worcester went off without a hitch Sunday , June 6, as 205 degrees were awarded under the big white tent that had dominated the campus green all week. The rain made for a somewhat soggy processional, but that could not dilute the excitement of the day or the sense of pride at the graduates’ accomplishments.

Keynote speaker Harold E. Varmus, MD, former head of the National Institutes of Health and president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, likened this stage of the graduates’ lives to a biological or material phase shift, noting that “materials stay the same but, through pressure and temperature changes, they can take on new form and function.” He urged them to “appreciate the process of flux.”

Dr. Varmus received an honorary degree in recognition of his foundational contributions to biomedical research and his commitment to excellence in scientific inquiry and clinical care worldwide. Mary C. DeFeudis, a longtime local philanthropist, received an honorary degree in recognition of her enthusiastic support for the academic health sciences center and her abiding love for her community and its residents. An honorary degree was also awarded to Michael Horgan, former chief executive officer and registrar of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), for his considerable contributions to medical education and international educational partnerships.

Graduate School of Nursing student Dawn Carpenter told her classmates to remember the UMass Worcester culture of support and dedication to patients, and to spread that culture wherever they go. Trevor Morin told his peers in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences that while life may or may not be fair, they need to take a helping hand when it is offered and—just as importantly—offer a hand when it is needed. Timothy Lin reminded School of Medicine students to continuously improve their service to patients, the community and humanity, and to remember the close camaraderie of their years at UMass Worcester.

The GSN conferred 37 master of science degrees; four doctor of nursing practice degrees and two PhDs. The GSBS conferred six master of science degrees in its new clinical investigation program, as well as 55 PhDs. And the SOM awarded six MD/PhDs and 95 MDs.

For complete Commencement 2010 coverage, visit: www.umassmed.edu/commencement