Rocky Vista University (RVU) celebrated the graduation of 150 students in its College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) program, as well as 26 students in its Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program. The ceremony, which took place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, was held on May 19th.
The Very Reverend Archimandrite Christodoulos G. Papadeas of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America delivered the Invocation. RVU President and CEO Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, then addressed the students directly. “Your families celebrate your achievement. They are proud of what you have endured and accomplished. There are so many stories of sacrifices, aspirations, overcoming great obstacles, and realizing the impossible dream,” he said.
Keynote speaker Stephen Shannon, DO, MPH, President of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), delivered the address. “I believe that the future of medicine is sitting before me today and that future is brighter for the unique outlook each of you will bring to your patients, your colleagues and your communities,” he said.
The MSBS graduates were the first to receive their diplomas. They were presented by Francina Towne, PhD, Director of the program, who congratulated them on their accomplishments and thanked them for their hard work. “You have maintained your humanity and your humility this year, and this is, by far, no small accomplishment,” she said.
Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean at RVUCOM and Vice President of Academic Affairs at RVU, welcomed the RVUCOM graduates to the osteopathic profession and delivered the traditional Dean’s Charge, offering advice and inspiration for the next step of their medical journey The students were then hooded by a family or faculty member before receiving their diplomas.
RVU Alumni Association President, AJ Ryan, DO ‘14, led the graduates in reciting the Osteopathic Oath. Each of the students stood and raised their right hands, vowing to only practice medicine within the most ethical of professional criteria.
The presentation of the Presidential Award of Excellence came next, conferred upon by Dr. Adams. Two deserving RVU faculty members were honored: Walter Buck, PhD, Chair and Professor of Structural Medicine, and Michael W. Martin, Associate Dean for Integrated Curriculum and Professor of Pharmacology, who passed away earlier in the month. His wife, L. Charolette Lippolis, DO, MPH, accepted the award on his behalf.
Prior to the closing remarks, RVU’s 28 military graduates were commissioned by General James P. McCarthy (retired) of the United States Air Force. As the students marched onto the stage, each of the military branch’s service song was sung by Garrett Smith, OMS I. The military graduates were then sworn in as commissioned officers.
The RVUCOM graduates will soon move into various residency programs across the United States. The top specialties they will be entering are Internal Medicine (17%), Family Medicine (15%), Emergency Medicine (13%), and Anesthesiology (11%).