Convocation Week events will mark start of new academic year

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

August 27, 2013



Preparations are kicking into high gear for Convocation Week activities, the annual campus-wide celebration of faculty, students and scholarship that marks the beginning of the new academic year. Events will take place during the week of Sept. 16, with the signature event, Convocation and Investiture, happening on Thursday, Sept. 19.


All events will take place in the Albert Sherman Center, rather than the giant tent on the campus green as in years past. Also new this year is an expanded Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences event, which will recognize newly qualified PhD candidates.

The week of activities begins on Monday, Sept. 16, with the Graduate School of Nursing’s Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP) Pinning Ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Sherman Center First Floor Atrium. In the presence of family, guests and faculty members, GEP students will be presented with their nursing pins and welcomed into the nursing community by campus leaders. The GEP program, for individuals with a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing, leads first to registered nurse licensure and then to advanced nursing specialties. The pinning ceremony symbolizes successful completion of the courses and clinical experiences required for taking the licensure exam.

Harvey J. Makadon, MD, director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at the Fenway Institute and clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will give the address at the second-annual LGBTA Welcome Luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. in the Albert Sherman Center Cube. RSVP to

The new Recognition of Newly Qualified PhD Candidates by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will take place in the Sherman Center First Floor Atrium on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m. The ceremony recognizes those who have successfully completed the Qualifying Exam, which marks the transition from classroom-based learning to candidacy for a doctoral degree.

On Thursday, Sept. Sept. 19, at 4 p.m., in the Sherman Center Auditorium, Chancellor Michael F. Collins will give his annual address at Convocation and will present the 2013 Chancellor’s Medals for distinguished teaching, distinguished scholarship, distinguished service and clinical excellence.

Immediately following Chancellor Collins’ address, four faculty members will be invested as named chairs. Each will give a short talk after receiving a symbolic medal from the benefactor or representative whose generosity made the chair possible. Those being honored at Investiture are:

· Dale L. Greiner, PhD, professor of molecular medicine: The Dr. Eileen L. Berman and Stanley I. Berman Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research;

· Catarina I. Kiefe, MD, PhD, chair and professor of quantitative health sciences and professor of medicine: The Melvin S. and Sandra L. Cutler Chair in Biomedical Research;

· Ellen M. Gravallese, MD, professor of medicine and cell & developmental biology: The Myles J. McDonough Chair in Rheumatology; and

· Silvia Corvera, MD, professor of molecular medicine and cell & developmental biology: The Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research, given by an anonymous donor.

Capping off the week will be the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in the Sherman Center First Floor Atrium. Oscar E. Starobin, MD, the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor's Medal for Clinical Excellence, will give the keynote address at the ceremony that welcomes incoming School of Medicine students into the medical community. Following the address, each student will be presented with a white coat by two people: an individual significant in the student's personal and/or professional development, chosen by the student; and the student's Learning Community mentor, who represents the value system of the school and the new profession the students are about to enter.

For more information about any of these events, visit the Convocation information web pages. Community members planning to attend should RSVP by Sept. 6.

Follow all Convocation updates on Twitter @umassmednow with #umw2013.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
New McDonough chair will support research in Rheumatology
Dr. Eileen L. Berman and Stanley I. Berman Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research established
Cutlers endow biomedical research chair; Kiefe is first recipient