The final weeks leading up to graduation were unlike those of any previous classes, marked by canceled travel plans, suspended celebrations, and rescheduled exams and post-graduation plans. However, the Class of 2020 still celebrated the momentous achievement of completing medical and graduate school, albeit in a virtual setting.
The Commencement Ceremony itself was hosted virtually on May 1st via a pre-recorded video. Graduates shared the video with family and friends and MSBS students, who formally graduated two weeks later on May 16th, were also able to join in the virtual celebration. During graduation week, Class of 2020 received their regalia, commencement programs, and diplomas via mail. In lieu of the walk across the stage to be “hooded” by a loved one (which marks the student’s designation as a holder of a graduate degree), some graduates chose to recreate that rite of passage with family in the safety of their homes. As a gift from RVUCOM to the Class of 2020, each graduating senior received a 12-month subscription to COMBANK, a question bank designed to help students prepare for the upcoming COMLEX Level 3 examination. They were also gifted an engraved pen set and a free year of Alumni Association membership dues.
In the video celebration, Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, and Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean and Chief Academic Officer of RVUCOM, congratulated the graduates on the completion of their respective programs. “There are as many stories about sacrifices, aspirations, overcoming great obstacles, and realizing the impossible dream, as there are graduates here today,” said Dr. Adams. The keynote address was then delivered by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas L. Ely, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP. He also conducted the Commissioning Ceremony, which recognized the ranking of 19 graduates from the Military Medicine Program.
“I’m so excited but also nervous to start my residency,” said Jordan Price, DO ’20. “I am eager to see what this final chapter of my education will hold.” “There is a lot going on in the world and some may look at this time as hopeless,” says Iris Burgard, DO ’20, “but I see a huge opportunity in front of [us]: the opportunity to work toward a better system for all patients. I believe wholeheartedly in the people who are a part of it and I am so excited to be joining [the profession].”