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Pulse - Summer 2022 Celebrating the Class of 2022

The class of 2022 celebrated Commencement at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on May 13, with an audience of family, friends, faculty and staff. The ceremony honored MD program and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies students as they became alumni.

The graduates included 244 MD students, three of whom completed joint MD/PhDs and eight who earned dual MD and master’s degrees in science, public health or business administration. The graduate students included 280 master’s degree recipients from Drexel’s pre-med/pre-health, career-oriented and biomedical science programs, and 23 PhD students.

Commencement 2022

This was the first Commencement to take place on the Kimmel Center’s stage since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the return to tradition added to the day’s celebratory mood. Drexel community members and graduates’ loved ones filled the venue with cheers and applause. The event was also streamed live for those who could not attend in person and is archived online.

Donna M. Russo, PhD, HU ’89, the William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education, interim vice dean for educational affairs and senior associate dean for curriculum, welcomed everyone to the event. Charles B. Cairns, MD, the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean and senior vice president of medical affairs, also addressed the attendees, followed by a greeting from Stanley W. Silverman, vice chair of Drexel University’s Board of Trustees.

Lynn Yeakel, former director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership and the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women’s Health, was honored posthumously for her longtime leadership and contributions to gender equality with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, which was accepted by her husband and son.

Attendees heard an address from celebrated educator and pediatric infectious diseases pioneer Sarah S. Long, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics, and chief of infectious diseases at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

During the ceremony, MD program graduates recited the Physician’s Pledge — led by Natalie S. May, MD, associate professor of medicine — promising to dedicate their lives to serve humanity and put the health and well-being of their patients first.

Elizabeth J. Van Bockstaele, PhD, founding dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, led the Graduate Student Oath, in which students vow to pursue truth while maintaining integrity, professionalism and a commitment to lifelong learning. Ayman S. Bodair, MD ’19, a captain in the Medical Corps of the United States Army, led students graduating into military service in the Oath for MD Officers.

After Edward Siegel, MD ’12, MBA, inducted the class of 2022 into the Alumni Association, Kara M. Jacobs, MD ’22, offered the graduate remarks. The ceremony ended with a farewell from Seema Baranwal, MD, senior associate dean for student affairs.

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