Vol. 11 No. 12 - July, 2009

36th Commencement

A new tradition begins

Benjamin Carson, MD
Benjamin Carson, MD, an internationally renowned physician, delivered the keynote address at the UMass Worcester 36th Commencement.

On Sunday, June 7, the University of Massachusetts Worcester began a new tradition by holding its 36th Commencement exercises on campus under a 3,000-seat tent erected on the new Campus Green. After a weekend of festive events that included a Saturday night celebration and a Sunday morning brunch, 204 degrees were awarded to graduates of the three schools that make up UMass Worcester—the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate School of Nursing. Three honorary degrees were also awarded.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins presided over the ceremonies. “This is a special moment not only for our graduates, but for their families as well,” said Dr. Collins. “We want families to share in the excitement of the day our graduates have worked toward for so many years.” Collins presented 96 doctor of medicine degrees; 46 doctor of philosophy degrees; three MD/PhDs; and, in nursing, 53 master of science degrees and six PhDs.

Benjamin S. Carson, MD, an internationally renowned physician, delivered the keynote address. He is professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and is also the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center. Dr. Carson was appointed director of pediatric neurosurgery at the age of 33, becoming one of the youngest doctors in the country to head such a division. In 1987, he made medical history with an operation to separate conjoined twins. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In his keynote address, Carson encouraged the graduates to care deeply and personally for their patients, despite the inevitable pain it may cause, saying, “Even when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to, if [patients] know your heart is with them, that is the most important thing, other than making sure you have the knowledge that is necessary.”

We want families to share in

the excitement of the day our graduates have worked toward for so many years.

In addi t ion to Car son, John P. Howe III, MD, and Ruth W. Lubic, CNM, EdD, received honorary degrees. Dr. Howe is president and CEO of Project HOPE, an international health foundation with offices and programs in 24 countries on five continents. Dr. Lubic is a birthing center pioneer and women’s health advocate.

Class speakers were Amy Beth Funkenstein, MD (School of Medicine), Nicholas A. Willis, PhD (GSBS) and Sean Thomas Collins, PhD (GSN). To watch a video of Commencement, visit http://www.umassmed.edu.

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