Rowan celebrates the next generation of physicians and researchers

Rowan celebrates the next generation of physicians and researchers


Trading in their stethoscopes and white coats for tassels and academic robes, the 157 graduates of the School of Osteopathic Medicine strode proudly across the stage to accept well-earned congratulations as they achieved the next milestone in their academic careers – the right to be called “doctor.”

The penultimate Commencement Week ceremony celebrated the achievements of the medical school graduates as well as those of the 81 degree recipients from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

In his welcoming remarks, Chad Bruner, vice chairman of the Rowan University Board of Trustees, encouraged the graduates of both schools to embrace the inevitable changes they will encounter in their careers, reminding them to avoid complacency and to “grow beyond your talent.”

As he congratulated the students on the milestone they achieved, Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand also acknowledged that their road to Commencement had not always been easy, but that hard work had served the graduates well.

“During your time here you have studied and worked with exceptional physicians and educators,” he said. “You have developed the clinical skills needed to become first-class caregivers. You have contributed to research that already is making a difference. You have celebrated life’s beginnings and consoled those affected by its end. And, may I add, you have made us all very proud.”

Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, Dean of RowanSOM, thanked the class for their contributions to the school, including the creation of a community garden and of a student group that promoted dialogue, social justice and inquiry among students those with varied backgrounds, goals and interests. He then gave the students one final assignment.

“Graduates, please rise and face the people most important in your life: parents, partners and loved ones who have provided support and resources to help bring us to this day,” he said, before directing the students to give those individuals a round of grateful applause.

Dr. Boyd Buser, the president of the American Osteopathic Association, presented keynote remarks and was presented with the 2017 School of Osteopathic Medicine Medal of Excellence in recognition of his longstanding commitment to osteopathic education and his leadership in developing a single graduate medical education accreditation system for the entire country.

The presentation of several student and faculty awards, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Linda Boyd, and the official conferral of master’s and doctoral degrees was followed by a special ceremony acknowledging six graduating physicians.

Colonel Lisa Hou, a 1996 RowanSOM graduate and the State Surgeon and Medical Command Commander of the New Jersey Army National Guard, invited six military students from the Class of 2017 to the stage. Then, in recognition of their graduation from medical school, the six newly minted physicians were sworn in as officers of the U.S. Army and of the U.S. Air Force.