On a picture perfect May day, Class of 2018 Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) students marched down Quincy Street and into Harvard Yard for the 367th Harvard Commencement. Class Marshal Lindsay D’Amato led the way with a giant toothbrush held high. The air was filled with excitement, bagpipe music, and choirs that heralded the entrance of the degree candidates from the twelve graduate schools of Harvard and Harvard College as they took their seats in Tercentenary Theatre. The Provost and Deans introduced the candidates from their schools, and for the final time in her presidency, Harvard President Drew Faust verbally conferred the degrees.
Thirty-four HSDM graduates received DMD degrees, seven with honors in a special field, and six with general honors. Thirteen advanced graduate students received MMSc degrees and four received DMSc degrees. Additionally several residents and fellows received specialty certificates in their chosen fields.
In the afternoon, HSDM students joined their Harvard Medical School (HMS) classmates to celebrate Class Day on the Quad. Harvard dental and medical school graduates, along with faculty, family and friends, gathered to hear remarks by student speakers, deans from both schools, and guest speaker Neal Baer, MD96.
HSDM Class Day speaker, Nisarg Amrish Patel, spoke of how the class grew as they learned together, and how as new doctors they will draw on their educational experience to change the practice and delivery of dental medicine.
“As Harvard graduates, we have both the fortune of having a limelight shining on our shoulders wherever we go, and an important responsibility that comes with that illumination,” Patel said.
“So, while today is an occasion for celebration, we shouldn’t simply rest on our laurels. We’ve made great strides as students. Let’s make leaps as doctors.”
HSDM Dean Bruce Donoff, DMD67, MD73, congratulated the graduates on reaching a major milestone in their long journey of education and discovery. He noted that he will remember the Class of 2018 DMD graduates as a remarkable group who have published more research papers than any other class.
“Your achievements should make you very proud. Those who have helped you reach this day and those who have nurtured and sustained you share that pride. The entire HSDM community and I feel no small measure of joy and pride in your accomplishments. We look forward to your futures with justifiably high hopes,” Donoff said.
Donoff encouraged the new grads to be leaders who will transform health care.
“Most importantly, do the right thing, especially when no one is watching,” he added.
After the remarks, the graduates received their diplomas and hoods from Associate Dean for Dental Education Dr. Sang Park, MMSc01, PD01, and their senior tutors. The graduates then joined their families, and HSDM faculty and staff for an Alumni Reception honoring the School's newest alumni.