Congratulations, graduates!

Congratulations to the new graduates!

On Saturday, May 6, proud family members and friends filled E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the University of Akron campus to cheer on the largest graduating class in NEOMED’s 50-year history. 275 graduates earned their degrees — three of them earned dual degrees.

The College of Medicine awarded 144 degrees. The College of Pharmacy conferred 87 degrees, while the College of Graduate Studies conferred 47 degrees (including the three dual degrees and two Ph.D. degrees) and four certificates.

Commencement speaker was Donald A. Malone, M.D. (’85), president of Cleveland Clinic Ohio Hospitals and Family Health Centers.

NEOMED’s newly appointed provost, Forrest Faison, III, M.D., vice admiral (retired) Medical Corps, and former surgeon general of the United States Navy, presided over the pinning of three military students.

Honorary degrees were presented to Robert J. Klonk, former NEOMED trustee and chairman and CEO of Unison Risk Advisors and Oswald Companies, and Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D., editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News.


The College of Medicine Gonfalonian (ranked academically first in the class), Ali Syed, M.D., was also a recipient of the Ideal Physician Award and has membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha and Virtuous Healer honor societies.

Representing the College of Pharmacy was Emily Graves, Pharm.D., who held the distinction of being Gonfalonian (first in her class) and a member of the Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma honor societies.  

While the College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy select their top student, respectively, to carry their flags (gonfalons), the College of Graduate Studies selects a faculty member for the honor, because it has multiple programs. This year, Vivian E. von Gruenigen, M.D., program director of the Master of Leadership in Health Systems Sciences, was chosen for the honor.

Grand Marshal for the day was Natalie Bonfine, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and chair of University Council.


Look for an expanded Commencement photo gallery later this week in the Pulse.

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