Congratulations to the 2020 graduates of the NEOMED College of Graduate Studies, College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy!
Saturday, May 2, was a Commencement like no other, created so that friends and family, faculty and staff could celebrate with the graduates at their homes or attend virtually to watch the cheers and smiles from wherever they live.
Although the 40th NEOMED Commencement could not be held live, because of the physical distancing needed to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, “We are closer today than we have ever been,” said John T. Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. presiding over his first such NEOMED event.
This year’s 229 graduates comprised 135 from the College of Medicine, 80 from the College of Pharmacy and 14 from the College of Graduate Studies. In total, 232 degree were conferred, with three dual degrees awarded to students enrolled in the College of Graduate Studies as well as the College of Medicine.
Beaming as he spoke, President Langell reminded the audience, “We are NEOMED – leaders of today AND tomorrow,” and referring with pride to the director of Ohio’s Department of Health, 1990 graduate Amy Acton, M.D., M.P.H. Calling her “Ohio’s top health professional,” Dr. Langell said, “Dr. Acton is what leadership looks like in a time of crisis.”
Dr. Langell predicted that upon graduation, “Our students’ preparedness will shine.”
From the brass fanfare that opened the event to the remarks from the three deans— Steven Schmidt, Ph.D., dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Elisabeth Young, M.D. (’85), dean of the College of Medicine; and Richard Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy – the mood was upbeat. Dr. Schmidt announced that this year marked the largest-ever class from the College of Graduate Studies, and said, “Thank you for the work you do as part of the ecosystem of wellness.”
Paul Bishop, president of the NEOMED Board of Trustees, congratulated the new graduates, as did Corrie Stofcho, M.D. (‘06), the president of the Alumni Association, who said that although times today are different from when she graduated, “you are prepared for anything” and promised them that NEOMED’s alumni association is there for them every step of the way.
Joy on their faces
It was the students who carried the celebration, with their congratulations to their classmates, triumphant smiles and warm thanks to their family, friends and NEOMED community members for helping them achieve this milestone. As each student was named, college by college, they had an opportunity to be shown on camera, being hooded or celebrating, and to say a few words. At the same time, those watching could – and did – send congratulations via chat messages.
Recognized for graduating at the top of their classes were Courtney Kromer, M.D., from the College of Medicine, and Taylor Baum, Pharm.D., from the College of Pharmacy.