Morehouse School of Medicine Celebrates Graduates with $600K+ in Student Debt Scholarships and Celebrity Shout Outs from John Legend, Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade, and Dr. Bernice King
Graduates from medical, public health, biomedical sciences programs honored with celebrity remarks and Presidential gift to lower student debt; NIH Researcher Dr. Gary H. Gibbons delivered commencement address, May 16
ATLANTA—May 16, 2020—Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist John Legend performed “Life Every Voice and Sing” for over 4,000 viewers of the 2020 virtual commencement exercises hosted by Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in partnership with Shared Studios. This year, MSM celebrated the matriculation of more than 150 medical doctors, biomedical scientists, and public health practitioners, remaining true to traditional elements of a commencement with individual conferral of degrees and a commencement speaker.
Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health, encouraged the graduates to keep two endearing principles in mind as they embarked on the next step of their journey. “Cherish your calling of caring and commit to continuous curiosity.” Gibbons also charged the Class of 2020 to “seize unprecedented opportunities that are on the horizon for you to grasp” as they enter the workforce in research labs, community-based organizations, and clinical settings.
Even in a public health crisis, we have an opportunity for our students to create innovative strategies for science and healthcare to serve our communities.”
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD
“At MSM we promote resilience— believing that determination to take on challenges and adversity can turn into opportunities” said Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. “Even in a public health crisis, we have an opportunity for our students to create innovative strategies for science and healthcare to serve our communities.”
Dr. Montgomery Rice announced today a Presidential Class gift for the graduating Class of 2020, awarding scholarships to the remaining seniors whose tuition and fees during their matriculation at MSM were not fully funded. The gift lowers student debt, and award approximately $600,000 in total scholarships. Each eligible graduating senior who had not received full MSM funding for tuition and fees will receive at least $2,000 that will be applied to reduce their medical school debt.
The event was complemented with special words of encouragement from past presidents of MSM, including:
- Louis W. Sullivan, MD, President Emeritus and prior Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- David Satcher, MD, MPH, 16th Surgeon General
- James R. Gavin III, M.D., Ph.D., former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service and renowned Diabetes Researcher
- John E. Maupin Jr., D.D.S., M.B.A., former Deputy Commissioner of Health of the Baltimore City Health Department and past president of Meharry Medical College.
A wide range of luminary history-makers and notable celebrities also shared congratulatory remarks for the graduating class, including:
- Bernice King, PhD, minister, civil rights activist
- Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador and civil rights activity
- Grant Hill, Basketball legend and Atlanta Hawks co-owner
- Tamron Hall, syndicated talk show host
- Mariah Huq, Creator and Executive Director, TV Show “Married to Medicine”
- Sophia Choi, Broadcaster, Channel 2 Action News
- Keith Henderson, Actor and Singer
- Rashad Richey, EdD, Political Analyst, CBS News and Chief Editor, rolling out
- Michael “Killer Mike” Render, Rapper and Activist
- Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan, Entertainment Personality, Atlanta Hawks DJ
The commencement also featured wise words from the Ambassador Andrew Young and a video montage of graduates participating in the viral social media ‘Don’t Rush Challenge’ transitioning into their cap and gown regalia and white coats as they enter the medical, public health, and biomedical workforces.
For more information about the event, visit www.msm.edu/commencement.
About Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Ga., was founded in 1975 as a two-year Medical Education Program at Morehouse College with clinical training affiliations with several established medical schools for awarding the MD degree. In 1981, MSM became an independently chartered institution and the first medical school established at a Historically Black College and University in the 20th century. MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians and has twice been recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for its dedication to the social mission of education. The faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care. Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate and master’s degrees.
For ceremony video footage, please contact:
Brittaney J. Bethea
Morehouse School of Medicine