In the unique times of COVID-19, the School of Medicine hosted a socially distanced “Class of 2020 Celebration” in the Centennial Complex on May 21. Since the class of 2020 was unable to hold an awards banquet or a hooding ceremony due to current constraints, the students and school attempted to do a combination event that incorporated a live distanced component and a virtual component.
Ninety-six “masked members” of the medical class of 2020 and seven members of the Basic Sciences program were dispersed into multiple large rooms, where they watched a livestream of the ceremony’s speakers. Students who were unable to attend in person joined the celebration via Zoom.
Tamara L. Thomas ’87, dean of the School of Medicine, welcomed the students to a ceremony that they “will never forget.” She was followed by Mary D. Meyer ’20, president of the 2020 class, who shared class memories and encouragement for the road ahead. H. Roger Hadley ’74, Dean Emeritus, delivered the address titled “The Hypocrisy of Hippocrates,” which delightfully implored students to determine to be the best residents and physicians. He also displayed the same slide he’d shared with the students on the first day of their medical school journey: “The proof of integrity is what you do when no one is looking.”
After the address, Dr. Thomas and Tamara M. Shankel ’88 went to each of the rooms where the students were gathered. The students’ names were read as Drs. Thomas and Shankel handed a diploma cover to each student for a photograph. A very special thank you to the multiple LLUSM faculty and alumni who loaned their regalia to the students for this event. Students received their official LLU diploma on May 22.
Debra L. Stottlemyer ’86, president of the Alumni Association, led the medical graduates in reading the Physician’s Oath, followed by Dr. Penelope Duerksen-Hughes, who led the Basic Sciences graduates in reading the Scientist’s Oath.
Dr. Thomas gave the charge to the class, reminding them that they might often feel unready to take on the heavy responsibility of being a resident but that they are indeed ready: “God doesn’t call the ready, He calls and equips the willing.”
The ceremony concluded with class pastor Jonathan Sharley ’20 giving a benediction.
The School of Medicine couldn’t be more proud of each member of the class of 2020. Go forth and use your training to heal, and at all times, keep your eyes on Christ, the Great Physician who called you to the healing ministry.