Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine hails graduates who endured and thrived

Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine hails graduates who endured and thrived

Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine students celebrate commencement

On Thursday, May 9, the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) community celebrated as 202 new doctors crossed the stage as graduates of the Class of 2024. Part of the Virtua Health College of Medicine & Life Sciences, the osteopathic school's ceremony provided an opportunity for families, friends and faculty mentors to recognize graduates' achievements and determination. SOM Dean Richard Jermyn warmly welcomed attendees to the event and introduced esteemed guests, including Provost Anthony Lowman and Dennis Pullin, president and CEO of Virtua Health.

Addressing the graduating class, Dean Jermyn praised their resilience, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the global pandemic. He commended their efforts to address social injustices, highlighting their involvement in Operation Save Lives and other humanitarian initiatives. Reflecting on their journey, Jermyn remarked: "Your contributions to the school, our communities, and to one another are inspiring, the Class of 2024 has exemplified the mission of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, demonstrating both clinical skill and compassionate care.” 

A significant highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Medal of Excellence to Dr. Reginald Blaber, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Virtua Health, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to health care. 

The ceremony also featured an uplifting message from Ekrem Cetinkaya, president of the Class of 2024, who spoke about the resilience and unity of the graduating class. "From Day One, we started our medical school journey fully virtual at the height of a global pandemic; we overcame all kinds of tests, board exams, and rotations," he said. "I promise it was not a challenge to see how resilient we were, but to highlight that although we come from vastly different backgrounds, we can unite to overcome even the most difficult challenges." 

To close the ceremony, Dean Jermyn led the graduates in reciting the Osteopathic Oath, symbolizing their pledge to serve humanity with compassion and integrity.