May 31, 2005
Diploma ceremonies offer range of good wishes
from staff reports
Following are reviews of the various school diploma ceremonies that followed Emory’s main Commencement exercises.
Speaking to the 143 graduates of the Allied Health programs in the School of Medicine, former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland (’68G, ’79H), said he felt like he has earned a Ph.D. in rehabilitative medicine.
“I spent 37 years in it,” Cleland said, referring to the ongoing process of rehabilitation, both physical and mental, that began when he lost both legs and his right arm in Vietnam. “In many ways, the trauma trail never ends. What I looked for in the eyes of those who laid their hands on me was a confidence, a hope that tomorrow would be better than today, and that next year would be a little better than this year. Rehabilitation is an act of faith in and of itself.”
Krissy Sinclair, who received her doctorate of physical therapy at the ceremony, found Cleland’s speech inspiring. “Since I was about 12, I’ve wanted to help someone walk who was told they would never walk.” With a
new job waiting at Progressive
Sports Medicine in Marietta, Sinclair may get that chance. —Mary Loftus
Interim Dean Maryam Alavi presided and quoted from school namesake Roberto Goizueta’s 1995 graduation address. Joining her on stage to present diplomas was Goizueta’s widow and emeritus trustee, Olga.
Lisa Allen, ’01MBA, welcomed 581 new graduates to the roster of more than 9,000 Goizueta alumni. “You are the best and the brightest—of course, that’s what they told us, too,” Allen quipped, adding that her degree not only hangs on her wall, but also served as a job application because it gave her the confidence to start her own business.
The Class of 2005’s members include School of Medicine Professor Pawel Jastreboff who, along with his son Peter, earned Modular Executive MBA degrees.—Eric Rangus
Dean Bobby Paul introduced senior class orator Molly Harrington, congratulating her for working to eliminate the stigma on campus associated with mental health problems, and for her work with the Candler School of Theology and the Servant Leadership program.
“We cannot afford to be indifferent and distracted,” Harrington said to her 1,762
fellow classmates. “We must face the problems that exist in our society.”
She encouraged the class
to be active members of their
communities. “It is immoral to ignore [our] part of a larger
global community and family,” she said. “We can not afford
to be silent onlookers in
today’s troubled world.” —Katherine Baust
As he held up and read from a doctoral diploma, graduate school interim Dean Bryan Noe emphasized three words: “honors, rights and privileges.”
“This degree represents more than honors, rights and privileges,” he said. “It also implies new responsibilities, some you don’t even know yet. Many times you will believe the responsibilities greatly outweigh the honors and privileges. Be responsible citizens; you have a responsibility to make positive contributions, whether to your field or to society in general.”
The school honored 122 master’s recipients and 160 PhD recipients.—Christi Gray
Class speaker Glenn Kirbo, who received the most outstanding third-year student award, recalled his first days at Emory, including his surprise at learning the parallels between law school and junior high.
Professor David Bederman, Kirbo recalled, introduced himself as the students’ new “homeroom teacher” and told them their lockers were right outside the classroom.
The Class of 2005 broke with tradition and for its class gift established a scholarship in memory of classmate Michael Gullett, who died last fall. The class presented a check to Dean Tom Arthur for $16,132.09, which (along with all subsequent contributions through 2010) will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous 1978 law school alumnus.—Elaine Justice
Jonas Shulman, professor of medicine, gave the valedictory address, “Our Paths Are Intertwined,” to a packed house of families and well-wishers in Glenn Auditorium.
He told the medical school graduates, “My wishes for you are a simple tapestry and very interwoven. Never forget that being a doctor is a privilege; treat your patients just as you would wish to be treated; care for your loved ones and yourself as kindly as you treat your patients.
“Always go beyond what is merely expected,” he continued. “And remember that happiness in your professional career will never come from grandiose materialism or from personal gain, but will come from your ability to serve your patients, your community and your profession. Seek out your passion, for it will breathe life into you. Make some waves, don’t forget to laugh, don’t be afraid to cry. Live with passion, compassion and courage.”—Jan Gleason
“We believe these are the graduates who represent the future of caring,” said Dean Marla Salmon, paying homage to the nursing school’s 100-year legacy and its 99th graduating class.
The graduates included 81 BSN students—14 with honors—four MSN-MPH dual degree students, 73 MSN students and three PhDs.
“Nurses truly are the backbone of health care,”
said speaker Andrea Higham, director of Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future, a major image campaign that has increased the recruitment
and retention of nurses throughout North America, the Caribbean and Australia.
In her address, Higham stressed the important impact they will make in the lives of others, “You are the newest trailblazers of nursing’s future. You are an inspiration to your country and continent, [and] you will touch lives in more ways than you can imagine.”
The Rollins School of Public Health ceremony recognized 281 MPH graduates, 16 MS graduates, nine new PhDs in epidemiology and biostatistics, and seven graduates who gained certificates in public health.
“The good news is that we know what works—creating political will and marshalling the resources to get the job done,” said speaker Sandra Thurman, president and CEO of International AIDS Trust and AIDS czar under former President Bill Clinton.
Lara Hendy, ’05MPH, spoke for the graduates and recounted a conversation she had with a 15-year-old in a rural South African village whose father had died of AIDS. Although the father had been sexually active for several years with various partners and knew how to protect himself, he didn’t use condoms.
“He said his [father’s] friends and girlfriends would think less of him, consider him weak,” Hendy said. “The social pressures were too strong. He laughed at the idea that he could get HIV.”
At the Candler School of Theology’s midday diploma ceremony in Glenn Auditorium, Dean Russell Richey counseled graduates to follow Jesus’ example as rabbi or teacher and heed the call to be rabbis themselves.
“Set aside a weekly time for sustained reading and reflection,” he said. “Guard the treasure you’ve been given by continuing to grow intellectually, theologically and spiritually.”—Elaine Justice