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Class of 2018 Celebrates Commencement Day

159th Commencement Stage

After years of dedication, sacrifice and unyielding efforts, the New York Medical College (NYMC) Class of 2018 enjoyed the fruits of their labor at the 159th Commencement exercises on May 23 at Carnegie Hall, where families and friends packed the house for the momentous occasion. The College awarded 213 doctor of medicine degrees (M.D.), 40 doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) degrees, 16 doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, 81 master of science (M.S.) degrees, 91 master of public health (M.P.H.) degrees and 4 doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) degrees. The pomp and circumstance of Commencement was preceded by an eventful day of award ceremonies for the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. View the NYMC 159th Commencement photo gallery.

Mace bearer Denise C. Tahara, M.B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., associate professor and director of M.P.H. studies, led the traditional processional of academic leaders, faculty and distinguished guests on to the stage. Grand Marshal Mitchell S. Cairo, M.D., professor of pediatrics, medicine, pathology, microbiology and immunology, and cell biology and anatomy, presided over the ceremony and declared, “The New York Medical College Commencement is now in session.” Then NYMC’s student a capella group, The Arrhythmias, led the singing of the National Anthem.

Student speaker Timmy O’Connell, who earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, shared his personal story of unrelenting dedication which was inspired by his father’s sudden and untimely death due to an aggressive form of cancer. “That changed the course of my life and it became a mission of mine to learn everything about what happened to him, how it happened, and what I could do to prevent it from happening to others,” he told his fellow graduates. “This room is filled with stories of triumph, of overcoming obstacles, of exceeding expectations, of living out dreams, of accomplishing great milestones. Everyone graduating today has a unique story of persistence, of beating the odds…I can't help but think that each of you now has the power to make change in someone else's life and has the ability to impact somebody's health in a positive way.”

Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, Jeremy Sugarman, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., an internationally recognized leader in the field of biomedical ethics, who is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, professor of medicine, professor of health policy and management, and deputy director for medicine of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, told the students, “You don’t have to specialize in bioethics to find yourself doing bioethics… ethics will be inextricably intertwined with your work. Doing your work well will require thinking about the ethics of what you are doing, and being sensitive to, and respectful of, those who may be very different from yourself.”

A musical interlude followed. Stephen Moshman, M.D., professor of medicine, thrilled the audience with an original brass quintet piece, called Celebration, which he composed expressly for this Commencement.

As the commencement ceremony drew to a close, Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, concluded the ceremony with the “Charge to the Class of 2018.” "We arrive at this day together; in partnership. We are proud of what we have jointly achieved,” he said.