Morehouse School of Medicine to Celebrate Graduates with Virtual Commencement Ceremony, May 16
National Institutes of Health leader Dr. Gary Gibbons to deliver commencement address for over 150 graduates; Medical, public health, biomedical sciences, and physician assistant program graduates to join interactive ceremony.
...We are planning an interactive virtual ceremony that allows us to celebrate our graduates in real-time, providing them and their families with a memorable experience that adheres to best practices regarding social distancing.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, President and Dean
ATLANTA—April 27, 2020—In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and recommendations from global public health organizations, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) will host a virtual commencement—the first in the institution’s 45-year history—in lieu of its traditional, in-person ceremony. MSM alumni from around the world will join students, parents and faculty members for the program slated for Saturday, May 16, the medical school announced today.
“Honoring graduates through our commencement ceremony is one of our most important traditions. The entire Morehouse School of Medicine community shares the disappointment over losing year-end, in-person celebrations due to the proliferation of COVID-19,” said Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, President and Dean. “However, we are planning an interactive virtual ceremony that allows us to celebrate our graduates in real-time, providing them and their families with a memorable experience that adheres to best practices regarding social distancing.”
During the May 16 ceremony, members of the Morehouse School of Medicine Class of 2020, along with their friends and families, are invited to gather together online as the institution’s leadership recognizes them and confers their MSM degrees. The streamed ceremony will feature many of the traditional elements—including speeches and performances—and students will have an opportunity to interact digitally with friends, family and the viewing audience.
The commencement address will be delivered by Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 federal employees. The NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases.
This new generation of health professionals will help shape and define our collective future, and I could not be more proud of them.
Gibbons is also the founding director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at MSM and former chair of MSM’s Physiology Department. He earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School.
“This is an unprecedented time,” said Montgomery Rice. “But, the world needs their training and gifts now more than ever before. This new generation of health professionals will help shape and define our collective future, and I could not be more proud of them.”
To deliver the ceremony, MSM is partnering with Shared_Studios, a New York City-based company that exists to create meaningful human connections between people separated by distance. The virtual ceremony will include many elements that characterize typical commencement exercises including processional music, the conferral of degrees and inspirational remarks from a distinguished speaker. This year’s ceremony will also integrate opportunities for live online interaction among graduates, their families and friends, faculty and staff, as well as institutional donors and partners.
For more information about the event, visit www.msm.edu/commencement.
Specific questions regarding the May 16 virtual ceremony may be emailed to email@example.com.
Brittaney J. Bethea, MPH
Director, Marketing & Communications
Morehouse School of Medicine