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New York Medical College Celebrates 160th Commencement

New York Medical College’s (NYMC) graduating Class of 2019 was addressed by Commencement Speaker George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron.

May 28, 2019
Group Headshot in Auditorium
160th Commencement

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 traditional pomp and circumstance of the day, was preceded by two days full of pre-commencement festivities including the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences awards luncheon, the School of Health Sciences and Practice awards dinner, the School of Medicine (SOM) honors day and a special pinning ceremony for four SOM graduates entering the military.

The NYMC Commencement was kicked off when Mace Bearer Edward J. Messina, Ph.D. ’73, professor emeritus of physiology, led the traditional processional of academic leaders, faculty and distinguished guests to the stage. Later in the program, Dr. Messina was also presented with a special proclamation on behalf of the College’s Board of Trustees. The proclamation expressed sincere gratitude to Dr. Messina, who joined the NYMC community as a graduate student in 1967, became a faculty member upon completion of his degree and devoted his lifelong career to the generation of new knowledge in his chosen field of physiology and the instruction of generations of students until his retirement this year when he joined the ranks of the emeritus faculty.

Grand Marshal Anitha Srinivasan, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., associate professor of surgery and director of breast health center, chief experience officer and attending surgeon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan 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, Taralynn Vecchio, who earned her M.S. in speech-language pathology from the School of Health Sciences and Practice, said, “New York Medical College is rooted in the expression where knowledge meets values. Our school has given us the knowledge, thanks to our skilled professors, intensive coursework, and clinical or research-based experiences. The values came from our experience. They are what changed us, what molded us into the clinicians, researchers and professionals that we will become.”

Addressing the Class of 2019, Dr. Yancopoulos shared his personal account of overcoming a nearly catastrophic failure during his early years at Regeneron— the biotechnology company named by Forbes as one of the most innovative companies in the world for its impressive success in developing drugs approved for serious diseases. Advising the future medical, public health and research leaders to never allow failure and doubt get in their way, he told them, “You have all worked hard. Some of you out there have probably never gotten a B. Some of you got into your dream residency program and some of you did not. Don’t assume any of that means anything. Work hard for your goals and don’t be distracted by doubt.”

A musical interlude followed. Stephen Moshman, M.D., professor of medicine, thrilled the audience with an original string quartet piece, called Dance, 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 2019.” "We arrive at this day together; in partnership. We are proud of what we have jointly achieved,” he said.

View the 160th Commencement week photo albums.

160th Commencement Execrises