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Celebrating 192 graduates

On June 7, 192 students graduated from the Geisel School of Medicine in the annual Class Day ceremony. The celebration, held the day before Dartmouth College's commencement, took place in the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center Courtyard. In addition to receiving the hoods denoting their degrees, the graduating students also received sage advice from Dartmouth faculty, alumni, their peers, and special guest speakers.

Class Day speaker Anne de Papp ('88) urged the new graduates to think big. "Embrace change in your life and your career, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone," she said. "After all, this is what life is about—new experiences and new opportunities."

Medical student speaker Paul Charlton—who received the Good Physician Award, which recognizes the graduating student who best exemplifies the personal and intangible qualities of the good physician—talked about how the students who came together at Dartmouth four years ago have grown.

"Just as we brought our own diverse cultures into Dartmouth, we now are taking part of Dartmouth's culture and spreading it," said Charlton. "As we do so, we are Dartmouth's ambassadors. We have the opportunity and the platform to be using the awareness we have gained over the past four years to make our residency programs, work cultures, and future communities better."

Graduate student speaker Marie Onakomaiya said she was not prepared for the failures that all researchers inevitably encounter, but they taught her an important lesson: "Work hard and never give up, because perseverance pays off and will always leave you with a sense of accomplishment, no matter the final outcome."

James A. Geiling, Chief of Medical Services and Director of the Intensive Care Unit at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a professor of medicine at Geisel, was the TDI student speaker. He reminded his fellow students that "public health has a face, a name, and a family."

"We should never forget that at the tip of this spear in these analyses are patients," he continued. "Scared, ill, and vulnerable persons that are dependent on us and our health-care system to give them the compassionate care they need and deserve. Shame on us if we ever lose that focus, that azimuth in guiding our public health efforts."

Among award winners in the Class of 2014, the Dean's Medal went to Jody C. Epstein and Sarah N. Robinson, who were selected by Geisel faculty as the students with the best overall record of achievement. Jeanine F. Amacher received the John W. Strohbehn Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research.

The 192 graduates included 90 MD, 50 MPH, 15 MS, and 37 PhD students.

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College