Congratulations, Class of 2017!

RVU graduates have walked the stage of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House before. 170079A_0152They have recited the Osteopathic Oath, led by their Alumni Association president before. They have nervously waited to be hooded and handed a diploma before. The military graduates have marched and saluted a commissioning officer before. But this year was different: there were
more military graduates onstage than ever before (twenty-six!); a faculty member was honored with the Presidential Award of Excellence; and, students graduated from the inaugural Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program.

Following introductions, the keynote speaker for the ceremony, Mark A. Baker, DO, President-elect for the American Osteopathic Association, began his speech: ” Four years ago, you started as an osteopathic medical student—and today, you are my colleague. You are entering a profession that is growing by leaps and bounds. Today, one in every four medical students
is enrolled in a school of osteopathic medicine. There are more than 102,000 practicing DOs in the United States—this is the largest number in history!”

170079A_0290Francina Towne, PhD, Director of the MSBS program, presented degrees to the MSBS graduates. “You have truly blazed a trail this year, been scholars and pathfinders, and forged the foundations of a program which will evolve and grow and serve the many who will follow in your footsteps,” she said. Following the MSBS graduates, the future physicians of RVUCOM
walked across stage to be hooded, designating that they now hold doctorate degrees. For many students, a loved one or mentor accompanied them onstage and performed the hooding. A special posthumous degree was presented to the family of Hans Machula, who tragically passed away earlier this year.

Led by AJ Ryan, DO ’14, Alumni Association President, the class stood together and recited the Osteopathic Oath, vowing to remain ethical, professional, and compassionate in all they do. The military commissioning ceremony—the event which recognizes the ranking of officers—was led by Brigadier General Jerome P. Limoge, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General of the
Colorado National Guard. The final segment of the ceremony was the presentation of the Presidential Award of Excellence, which was given to Joseph Stasio, DO, Chair of the Primary Care Department. “We are honored and privileged to have faculty of Dr. Stasio’s caliber to mentor and educate the physicians of the 21st century,” said Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE,
President and CEO.

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