The Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) Class of 2017 received their degrees on Thursday, May 25, 2017 during Harvard Commencement and Class Day. Under overcast skies and drizzle, the graduating students marched with umbrellas and toothbrushes in hand, into Harvard’s Tercentenary Theatre for Morning Exercises. Their spirits were not dampened by the weather, as they celebrated alongside graduates from all the schools of Harvard at the University’s 366th Commencement.
Degree candidates from 13 schools and Harvard College were recognized by school and cheered by the crowd. Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) awarded 61 degrees– 17 Master of Medical Sciences, 9 Doctor of Medical Sciences, 35 Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees.
In the afternoon, HSDM students joined their Harvard Medical School classmates for Class Day on the Quad. Family and friends gathered to hear speeches by student speakers and the deans of both schools. Patrick Vaughn was HSDM student co-moderator along with his HMS classmates Aaron Cohen, and Grace Chao.
HSDM student speaker, Sara Tejani spoke on behalf of the DMD graduates.
“Thank you all so much for supporting us on this special day in our lives: the day that we officially become doctors,” Tejani said. “In our cohort of 35 students, we have a Fulbright scholar, a runner up for Miss America, military members, first generation Americans, first generation doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, athletes…during our time in dental school, we have much to celebrate.”
Tejani noted that she learned about the power of collaboration, perseverance, solidarity, empathy, happiness, trust, and love from her fellow classmates.
“I hope that we stay motivated and energized to effect the change required in our profession – whether that be through research, academia, policy, innovation, whatever our calling may be. For me, personally, I hope that these efforts include diversifying our field,” she said.
HMS Dean George Daley gave his first Class Day remarks and offered guidance to the graduates on learning, leadership and service.
“As you, the Class of 2017, reflect on all that you’ve accomplished in graduating today, my call to each of you is to always preserve the ideals that first drew you to medicine and to a life of service. The purpose of your medical education is to enable you to serve, Daley said.
HSDM Dean Bruce Donoff echoed these sentiments in his remarks, “Remember, we are privileged to take care of people. Treat them well, treat them kindly and treat them with respect,” Above all, treat them all equally, with one high standard of care,” he said.
“I hope your memories of HSDM and HMS will always remain a treasured part of who you are and who you become. Be the leaders you are in transforming our health care world, through science, policy and compassionate care,” Donoff said.
After the remarks, the graduates received their diplomas and hoods, and recited an oath together to articulate the ideas and principles that will guide them as medical and dental professionals. The HSDM graduates then joined their families, and HSDM faculty and staff for an Alumni Reception honoring the School's newest alumni.
View a photo gallery from Commencement.