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Congratulations, Class of 2018!

“Destined to make a difference.” Resilience and renewal reign at Commencement ceremonies.

Video: Huy Mach/Gaia Remerowski

“You are a member of the class who refused to just accept the status quo, and you are destined to make a difference.”

Thus MD Commencement keynote speaker Adil Haider, MD, concluded his address to graduates, an address that opened with a somber moment of silence for victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas earlier in the day, Friday, May 18.

A trauma and acute care surgeon and director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Haider established the field of trauma disparities research. His speech was one of several at Commencement ceremonies throughout the day recognizing adversity and endorsing resilience.

Keep scrolling for photos and tweets of Commencement ceremonies celebrating Washington University School of Medicine graduatesor jump to the ceremony for graduates of:


All-university Commencement

From umbrellas and ponchos to big smiles and bold speeches, persistence and renewal took center stage at the morning’s all-graduate ceremony.

We’re so proud to have our student marshals attend @wustl commencement today- MSDE student Kyle Wenrich, and AuD student, Miranda Camet. #WashU18

A post shared by WUSTL PACS (@wustlpacs) on

Keynote speaker Anne-Marie Slaughter, a foreign policy expert and scholar, spoke to the country’s history of racial oppression and the promise of American renewal.

Senior class president and undergraduate speaker Bill Feng built on themes in Slaughter’s address, emphasizing the power of dialogue and leading with empathy.

Graduate speaker Donald Gerke, who earned a PhD from the Brown School of Social Work, urged fellow graduates to persist through failure and find strength through truth.

See more photos from all-university Commencement on Flickr »


Doctor of Medicine programs

The medical program celebrated 119 graduates, 33 of whom earned dual degrees. Twenty graduates earned an MD/PhD through the Medical Scientist Training Program.

In March, MD candidates learned their destinations for residency training. Many will go on to complete residency programs right here in St. Louis, as well as in Massachusetts, New York, California and Texas. Altogether, this year’s class will be represented at hospitals in 21 states. (For a complete list of all 2018 Doctor of Medicine graduates, including residency matches and students recognized for outstanding achievements, see the Commencement program.)

At the MD Commencement Ceremony, Adil Haider, MD, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital addressed the graduates. Haider spoke of conversations he had with the MD candidates. “You all want to make a difference. I believe you. I believe in you. Because in you I see people who will make a difference by not only living the American dream, but by upgrading it.”

Graduate Paolo Dib, MD, presented the Senior “Teacher of the Year” Awards. Erika Crouch, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and immunology, was honored as the Preclinical Teacher of the Year, and recognition for Clinical Teacher of the Year went to Tammy Sonn, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

Addressing the graduates, School of Medicine Dean and Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs David H. Perlmutter, MD, emphasized the importance of compassion and community. “All of you are now woven into our lives and into the fabric that makes us Washington University School of Medicine,” he told them.

Class President and Commencement speaker Jorge Zárate Rodriguez, MD, spoke strongly of his class’s commitment to advocacy and excellence. “Our class has an intrinsic, relentless desire to make things better,” Zárate said. “We have worked hard to try to improve St. Louis by demonstrating on and off campus against racist and sexist systems of oppression that affect us and our patients.”

As testament to his cohort’s honest commitment to serving the underserved, Zárate noted that the Class of 2018 is graduating the highest number of family medicine physicians that Washington University School of Medicine has seen in over a decade.

On campus, Zárate added, “We have lobbied for large scale changes to increase inclusion and diversity as well as medical student wellness.”

“Our class pushes and strives for more; our class engages,” he said. “As we take our first steps as baby doctors, remember this craving for excellence and allow it to provide direction for your careers.”


Audiology & Communication Sciences programs

The Program in Audiology & Communication Sciences awarded degrees to students graduating from the master’s in deaf education, Doctor of Audiology and Doctor of Philosophy programs.

Craig A. Buchman, MD, the Lindburg Professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology, addressed the graduates.


Occupational Therapy programs

The hooding ceremony for the Program in Occupational Therapy recognized 19 graduates of the Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy and 51 graduates of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. In addition, one graduate received the PhD in Rehabilitation and Participation Science. Alumni from the Class of 1968 joined the ceremony to celebrate their 50th reunion.

Keynote speaker Bob Hansman, associate professor of architecture and director of City Faces, addressed the graduates. “You have chosen a profession, a life perhaps, that will likely take you outside yourselves, to do something that really needs doing,” Hansman told the graduates. “You’ve chosen that degree of discomfort, and I’m immensely grateful that you did.”

Faculty speaker Jeanenne Dallas, instructor of occupational therapy, reminded the graduating class that, as the centennial class, “you’re the first to go out there and represent us in our next 100 years.” Dallas distilled her advice for graduates into three words: “Leave your mark.” “Don’t be like me. Don’t wait 40 years,” she said. “Start to leave your mark today.”

Master’s candidate Chase Elwood and doctoral candidate Katelynn (KP) Dornbusch were the student speakers.

Occupational therapy program director M. Carolyn Baum, PhD, concluded the ceremony. Noting the diverse interests, perspectives and expertise of the graduates, Baum told them: “All of you are going to help families and communities learn to engage those with occupational challenges, and will help people see the power of their action and activities as they adapt to life’s circumstances.”


Physical Therapy programs

Guest speaker Donald Anthony Neumannn, PhD, a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University, addressed doctoral candidates at the hooding ceremony for the Program in Physical Therapy.

Gregory Holtzman, DPT, associate professor of physical therapy and associate director of clinical practice, was the faculty speaker. The student speaker was Alyssa Faye Collier, a candidate for a doctorate in physical therapy.

Among the 81 physical therapy graduates were Ashleigh Laswon, DPT, recognized for excellence in clinical education with the Beatrice Schulz Award; Trenton Wiseman, DPT, recognized for exceptional contributions in research with the Steven J. Rose Research Award; and Kali Keller, DPT, recipient of the Director’s Award for outstanding and impactful presence in the classroom, clinic and/or community.

Two members of the #wupt18 graduating class were recognized today at the Ceremony for Black Graduate and Professional Students. Congrats Kali and Razeena!!

Posted by Washington University in St. Louis Program in Physical Therapy on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Razeena Umrani, DPT, was the 2018 recipient of Washington University’s Wangari Maathai Award. This award recognizes a black graduate student at the university who has demonstrated a commitment to public service by improving the lives of others, engaging in civic activities, serving local, national or international communities, and/or demonstrating selflessness and compassion.

Congrats #wupt18! We are SO proud of you! ???? #washu18

Posted by Washington University in St. Louis Program in Physical Therapy on Friday, May 18, 2018


Master’s programs: MSCI, AHBR & MPHS

Scholars graduating with master’s in clinical investigation (MSCI), applied health behavior research (AHBR) and population health sciences (MPHS) were recognized at a joint recognition ceremony on Thursday, May 17.

Speakers included David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine; Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor and head of the Department of Medicine; Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, the Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, director of Population Health Sciences and deputy director of the Institute for Public Health; and David K. Warren, MD, professor of medicine, director of the Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC) and director of the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program.

Recognition for coursemaster of the year went to Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, PhD, professor of psychiatry, Brian Gage, MD, MSc, professor of medicine, and Enbal Shacham, PhD, CRTC lecturer and professor of behavioral science and health education at St. Louis University. In addition, Alison Snyder-Warwick, MD, professor of plastic and surgery, earned recognition for mentorship.

Scholars recognized for outstanding citizenship were Jonathan Mitchem, MD; Jennie Kwon, DO; Kimberly Waddell; Amy Langdon; Alexander Aleem, MD, MSCI; Afsaneh Shirani, MD, MSCI; Syed Hassan Abbas Akbari, MD; Parul Sinha; Joseph Cammarata; Tyler Frank and Neha Mehta-Shah, MD.


Biology & Biomedical Sciences programs

Also on Thursday, PhD candidates in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences joined PhD candidates university-wide to receive their degrees at the hooding ceremony for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Watch video of the ceremony »